Even with efforts by both parties to delay early presidential primaries and caucuses, states trying to exert heavier influence on the primary outcome are again pushing their contests into early January.
Under RNC rules, only Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina are allowed to hold their primaries or caucuses before Super Tuesday. Florida announced earlier today that it will move its primary to January 31, potentially prompting the other four states to leapfrog each other to earlier dates.
Do you think Florida made the right move and should have more of an influence in picking the presidential nominee? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
As it currently stands, the Iowa caucuses are set for February 6, the New Hampshire primary for February 14, the Nevada caucuses for February 18 and the South Carolina primary for February 28.
Iowa Republican Party Chairman Matt Strawn issued a statement indicating the four states' plan to stick together in their efforts to keep their early contest spots.
"The four sanctioned, early states have been very clear that we will move together, if necessary, to ensure order as outlined in RNC rules. If we are forced to change our dates together, we will," Strawn said. [...]
The chaos in the Republican presidential primary calendar could push Iowa's first-in-the-nation caucuses to January 2, said political scientist Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics.
After the decision was made official, Strawn added to Politico:
"The arrogance shown by Florida's elected leadership is disappointing, but not surprising. Equally troubling is to see this petulant behavior rewarded with our national convention. The consequences of Florida's intransigence must be swift and severe, including the refusal by the RNC to credential or seat any member of Florida's presidential primary date commission at the 2012 RNC convention in Tampa."
"Regarding the timing of the First in the Nation Iowa Caucuses, Iowa will remain first. Consistent with tradition, the final Iowa Caucus date will be announced once New Hampshire sets the date of its First in the Nation Primary."
Do you agree with Florida?