The Republican Party of Florida thought this was all worked out: When the state made its primary early, it was penalized with a loss of half of its 100 delegates, the people who technically nominate the party's nominee at the national convention.
And that was all.
So RPOF decided Florida would be a winner-take-all state. The winner would get the 50 delegates. They wouldn't be proportioned by the state's 25 Congressional districts.
"It's winner take all," said RPOF spokesman Brian Hughes. "We have a letter from the Republican National Committee's general counsel affirming that."
But some say that's not the case. Backers of Rick Santorum want a proportional delegation system, which would allow candidates to win delegates if they won a congressional district. Some Mitt Romney supporters are now quietly raising the same issue -- even though they were supportive of winner-take-all when Romney looked as if he'd win the state Jan. 31.
At least one Republican has announced he plans to file a challenge to the state's delegate system with the Republican National Committee. The challenge could be heard in May. By that time, there's a chance the nomination will be effectively wrapped up, so it won't make a difference. But the race is volatile. So this could become a bigger issue.
And it's not just candidate backers who say that's the case. Michael Steele, former RNC chairman, said the state should lose half its delegates AND award them proportionately.
"I know," Steele said. "I was there. I helped write the rules."
Said RPOF spokesman Hughes: "He's not the chairman now."