The Republican National Committee has told states that they must set the dates for their presidential primaries or caucuses by this Saturday, October 1st.
That deadline will at least begin to clarify the calendar for the Republican presidential nominating contests. Up to now, attempting to clarify the primary and caucus schedule has been an extremely messy job and the states which have traditionally held the first contests have been in a state of electoral flux. However at least three of those four states, Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, have agreed to work together and change their datesaccordingly and ensure that they remain the first states to select a presidential nominee.
Much of the problem was created by Florida which wants to ensure that as the fourth most populus state in the nation, they have significant sway in the nomination process. With that intention in mind, despite the RNC’s rule that only Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina can hold nominating contests before March 6th of 2012, Florida set their primary for January 31st. Their bold move has subsequently been followed by several other states who would like to have a an early impact on the nomination process. So now Coloradoo, Georgia, Minnesota, Missouri, and North Dakota are holding their presidential selection events on February 7th, 2012. All of this has threatened to deny the traditional early states their normal role. But Iowa Republican Party Chairman Matt Strawn recently assured his state’s voters that in conjunction with New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, Iowa will likely change its current February 6th date to another one which will allow the other states to have the second, third, and fourth contest in the nation that RNC rules call for .
No one is saying what those dates are. But for several months now, White House 2012 has posted a preliminary schedule which I believe reflects the dates that will ultimately be settled upon for the first ten primary and caucus contests. Unfortunately I don’t see Nevada being one of the first four though. From what I have been able to ascertain, Nevada has not made any moves to change it’s caucus date since having done so already earlier in te year.
This is how White House 2012 predicts the early calendar fall in to place;
Monday, January 9th – Iowa
Tuesday, January 17th – New Hampshire
Saturday, January 21st – South Carolina
Tuesday, January 31st – Florida
Tuesday, February 7th – Colorado, Georgia, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota
Saturday, February 18th – Nevada
This relatively early calendar is still not really what Iowa or New Hampshire want. These dates are pretty close to the holidays and much of the time leading up to those contests will be spent focussing on holiday festivities, not necessarily politics. But four years the front loading by other states forced the Iowa Caucuses to be held two days after New Year’s Day. That was the earliest it was ever held. It also only left 5 days between their caucuses and the New Hampshire primary. That gives the individual campaigns little time to pack up and head from Iowa to New Hampshire so that they can give voters in the Granite State, the attention that they have come to expect. The projected White House 2012 calendar allows for the typical 8 days between Iowa and New Hampshire that we have usually seen.
For White House 2012’s complete predicted calendar visit the Election Schedule page here
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