Republicans who blame party rules for a protracted primary race may be mistaken.

A rule requiring early-voting states to award delegates on a proportional basis “was the dumbest idea anybody ever had,” New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said Feb. 23 on Fox News. Christie, supporting former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, disparaged the rule because Republicans are running against President Barack Obama, who won’t face a primary challenge, and Republican presidential hopefuls will “beat each other up even longer.”