Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Florida: "We Want To Be Fifth"

Florida: "We Want To Be Fifth"

Officially, the 2012 Iowa caucuses are still scheduled for Monday. February 6.

Unofficially, no one actually believes this, as the quadrennial game of date leapfrog is well underway, with Florida Republicans leading the charge.

In a rare bit of bipartisanship, Democrats and Republicans are in agreement on the nomination calendar. Both parties have the same four early states: Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carlina and Nevada. Both parties have the same calendar: early states in February. other states starting in March. That said, Florida Republicans are making a stand:
Though the national party is pressuring Florida to delay its primary until next April, Republican Party of Florida chairman Dave Bitner made it clear Florida has no intention of moving back to the pack and sharing its primary date with other states again.

For decades, Florida voted in mid-March or April, long after the GOP nominees had been decided in smaller states' primaries. Now, Bitner said Florida deserves a bigger role because of its status as a key swing state in the general election.

"We want to go fifth," Bitner told more than 100 Republicans at a fundraiser Thursday night. "We don't care about being first, second, third or fourth. Let those other states that have had that have it. We just want to be fifth."
Whole article a must read for any caucus junkie.

In order to facilitate We Want To Go Fifth, "the Florida House passed an elections reform package that includes a 10-member commission that would wait until Oct. 1 to select a primary date for Florida between the first Tuesday in January and the first Tuesday in March." That would probably set up a ripple effect, pushing South Carolina and Nevada earlier, and thus pushing New Hampshire and Iowa earlier.

Republicans control both legislative houses and the governorship in Florida, so Democrats will get dragged along. But Florida Republicans need to be careful - they've already been given the plum of the GOP national convention, in Tampa. Party chair Reince Priebus says the convention won't be moved, but my guess is there will be some serious negotiating going on.

Anyone ready to caucus January 9? How about January 2?

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