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Republicans Recommend Ending Caucuses After Romney Defeat

Political purists alarmed by the report may find solace in the fact that some of Iowa's Republicans were unaware of the proposal to push for more primary elections.

"I'd like to see the report before I really make a formal comment," said Judy Davidson, chairwoman of the Scott County Republican Party.

The GOP's proposals may be targeting other states that hold caucuses and conventions that haven't run as smoothly as Iowa's.

Republican officials generally viewed caucus turnout in January 2012 as very good, despite the fact that the early part of the GOP race didn't offer a likable candidate to all people.

"Almost 123,000 people ... voted caucus night around the state," said Bob Anderson, an Iowa state central committee member. "To have 123,000 people go out on a winter evening and cast their votes -- that's a pretty good reflection of the base of your party."

The Iowa caucus has offered a solid gauge of whom the GOP base tends to favor for the election.

The need for change may not be necessary. Many Republicans saw Romney's extended battle against Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul and others as a strain on his campaign, and they argued it cost him a lot of time and money that could have otherwise been avoided with a shorter primary season. Forbes aide Stineman admitted that not all primary seasons would necessarily repeat 2012. Kevin McLaughlin, former Polk County Republican Party chairman, said the problem the party faces is not the process, but the messaging.

"It's still like talking about how lousy the beverage service was on a plane that lost engine power," said McLaughlin. "That plane's going down and everybody's going to die -- what's the point of talking about how lousy the beverage service is? If you have the right message, you'll draw people to your party."

Even with the proposed changes on the table, the process to approve new rules would require significant momentum from party officials. For now, Iowa's coveted caucus format may be poised for more of the same.

"We start the process for someone who didn't have a chance in another state; we bring them to the national spotlight and then the whole country gets an opportunity to say, 'Either we like him or we don't,'" said Linda Holub, former co-city chairwoman of Sioux City's Iowa Republican Party.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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