Some drastic talk from RNC Chairman Reice Priebus on today's Face the Nation:
One of the reasons why Mitt Romney was a sitting duck for two months over the summer is under the campaign finance law, he couldn't use money he had already raised until after he received nomination for president in August. I believe that our primary process is way too long. I think our calendar needs to be looked at ... and I think they had to wait too long to get to the convention. I'm calling for a convention in June or July. We're going to set up a commission that's going to make that decision. I'm going to be a part of that. I'm going to chair that commission, but no more August conventions."
Back in '96 the Dole campaign was in trouble because it couldn't access it's general election public financing money. In 2004, the Kerry campaign discussed officially accepting the nomination weeks before the Boston convention in order to access his general election funds. Then, as candidates had a fixed amount of money for the general, a late convention made more sense. But now, with no more public financing, it will be interesting to see if the two parties come to the same conclusion on the timing of the 2016 conventions.
Update: Here are the official recommendations from the RNC (p. 72)"
1. The Republican Convention should be held earlier in the summer. It should be moved
to late June or sometime in July, allowing our nominee more time to begin the general election phase. (Note: The 2016 Olympics will be held August 5–21.)
2. Because the nominee will still need an estimated 60–90 days to prepare for the Convention, changes will need to be made to the primary calendar. If the Convention were to be held in July, the last primary would need to be held no later than May 15. If the Convention were to be held in late June, the final primary would need to be held no later than April 30. Moving primaries up will require states and state parties to cooperate
Update from Doc Jess:
There's a ton more fun in the Republican Autopsy Report. Nice graphics, no substance. Read it all below.