Appropriately enough, the news came over my phone while I was at local Democratic HQ making plans for the caucuses:
Iowa GOP Chair Strawn: First in the Nation Iowa Caucuses Set for January 3Democratic chair Sue Dvorsky quickly followed with this tweet:
Des Moines – Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Matt Strawn tonight made the following statement after the Party’s State Central Committee approved a motion to hold Iowa’s First in the Nation Precinct Caucuses on Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. (Iowa time).
“On behalf of over 600,000 Iowa Republicans, I’m excited to announce the first step Iowans will have to replace Barack Obama and his failed presidency will be next January 3 at our First in the Nation Iowa Caucuses,” said Strawn. “A January 3 date provides certainty to the voters, to our presidential candidates, and to the thousands of statewide volunteers who make the Caucus process a reflection of the very best of our representative democracy.”
Iowa’s precinct caucuses, which occur at over 1,700 precinct locations across the Hawkeye state, are best-known for the presidential preference poll that occurs along with traditional party organizing activities such as the election of precinct committeemen and platform discussions.
Strawn noted that the decision to hold the precinct caucuses on January 3 mirrored the decision made by Iowa Republican and Democrat officials during the 2008 presidential cycle when Iowa held the First in the Nation Caucuses on January 3 and New Hampshire held the First in the Nation Primary on January 8, 2008.
Strawn noted this process is best served with Iowa and New Hampshire continuing in lead-off roles as the First in the Nation Caucus and First in the Nation Primary, respectively. He said, “At a time when more and more Americans feel disconnected from our national leaders, we need places like Iowa and New Hampshire that require those who seek to lead us, actually meet us, look us in the eye and listen to our hopes and concerns for our families and our Nation.”
Strawn also expressed solidarity with his counterparts in New Hampshire, “I will do everything in my power on the RNC to hold Florida accountable for creating this mess, but the culpability for creating a compressed January calendar does not end there. The actions of early state newcomer Nevada have also exacerbated this problem and unnecessarily crowded the January calendar. Time remains for Nevada to respect the process, honor tradition and rectify the problem in a way that will restore order to the nomination calendar.
Iowa Democratic Party state central committee meeting by phone conf Thurs night. #iacaucus #FITNPresumably discussing the same subject with the same outcome.
The date provides a nice symmetry for us Obama `08 Iowans, coming four years to the day after the historic caucus win.
At this point it is most likely that Nevada moves back this weekend and New Hampshire ultimately slides into the January 10 slot. As always, though, we shall see.Nevada Republicans meet Saturday.
Republicans Call For Romney To Join Nevada BoycottNice lead youse got here. Shame if somethin' happened to it.
State Leaders Say Front-Runner Taking NH For Granted
CONCORD, N.H. -- State Republican leaders are urging presidential candidate Mitt Romney to join a boycott of the Nevada caucus in an effort to get that state to change its schedule.
House Speaker Bill O'Brien said Romney is making a mistake by not joining the Nevada boycott.
"I think he may be taking New Hampshire voters for granted, and I don't think he ought to do that," O'Brien said.
"I talk to voters who are very, very concerned about New Hampshire maintaining its primary," he said. "They wouldn't take very kindly to a front-runner who says, 'No, I've got you locked up, so I'm going to try and get an advantage in another state.'"