That's the bet of Craig Robinson at TheIowaRepublican in a must read date roundup from the only perspective that matters: the Iowa perspective.
Here's the scenario, with New Hampshire on Monday 1/10:
January 2nd is a national holiday, which presents logistical problems as many caucuses are held in public buildings, and major college bowl games take place on 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. The 5th, however, is wide open. While the 5th doesn’t provide much time between the caucuses and the New Hampshire primary, the five-day difference is the same as it was in 2008. Nevada, which isn’t really fought-over territory, could hold its caucuses on Saturday the 14th.Problem with that is Bill Gardner. The NH Secretary of State, who has full authority to set the date, says he won't announce his date till Nevada announces theirs, and Nevada Republicans say theirs is "the Saturday after New Hampshire." But Gardner says he'll insist on a full week between the two
So as of this cup of coffee I'm seeing a first-ever Saturday New Hampshire primary on the 7th with Nevada on the 14th: the Saturday after New Hampshire and seven days after. That probably puts us on the 2nd or more likely the 3rd.
Frontloading HQ has another must-read - yes, I've assigned you two today - on Gardner's psychology and skill at playing chicken, which again emphasizes the improtance of keeping both New Hampshire and Iowa in the calendar year. It also notes the next key date: October 22, when Nevada Republicans meet again. (Gardner didn't set the 2008 date till November 21, 2007. That didn't leave us Iowans much time to line up all those caucus sites...)
Robinson calls the calendar "once again severely frontloaded" but Frontloading HQ disagrees:
Go and look at that 2008 calendar again. Now go look at 2012. The first Tuesday in March 2012 -- the earliest allowed date -- is still the date on which the most contests are being held, but only marginally so. That isn't Tsunami Tuesday. Heck, that is a Super Tuesday a month later than in 2008...As for the penalties, Robinson mentions the nuclear option: "Whoever chose Tampa, Florida, as the site of the 2012 Republican national convention should lose their job. Not only is the RNC allowing them to destroy the nominating calendar it set up, it is actually rewarding the rule breakers them by letting them host the convention." It's not my place to say where the Republican convention should be, but if it were my team I'd be calling for it.
Was the effort to combat frontloading fruitless? No, it wasn't. A .850 winning percentage is not the record of a loser. It speaks otherwise.
In a scenario where all it takes is one state to overturn the applecart, though, all it took was Florida to jump into January to destroy the best laid plans at the RNC. There is such a small margin for error that it is almost impossible to claim victory from a rules perspective in any cycle. Again, where the problem lies is with the penalties, not the rules.
So who does all this help in the nomination fight? Wall Street Journal says frontronners as if it's a bad thing, under the headline "Florida Republicans for Obama."