GOP adopts primary calendar rule favored by McCain

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Republican National Convention delegates have adopted a rule to keep the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary at the front of their presidential nominating calendar.

The binding rule bans any states other than Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina from holding their 2012 primary or caucus votes before the first Tuesday in March.

The rule approved during Monday's truncated opening session of the convention also says those three states can't hold their own votes before the first Tuesday in February.

Certain nominee John McCain favored the changes to preserve the states' grassroots politicking. Republicans also want to prevent a repeat of this year's crowded calendar, when other states moved up to gain clout.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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