- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 21, 2015

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A deal brokered by Republican leaders in North Carolina to push the next year’s presidential primary into March has passed the state Senate and will head back to the House for final approval.

The Senate voted Tuesday in support of a plan to hold both party’s primaries on March 15 next year, yielding to demands by the Republican National Committee, which threatened take away 80 percent of the state’s delegates if it held its primary in February.

North Carolina has traditionally held its primary in May, but legislative leaders sought to gain clout by moving the primary into February, days after South Carolina is scheduled to hold one of the four traditionally early primaries.

Both national parties have rules blocking states from moving their primaries ahead of March 1.

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