Iowa’s caucus date will be Jan. 3 under a tentative agreement that will be formally voted on around Oct. 16, a GOP central committee member said today.
“We had a real clear consensus last night that we want Jan. 3,” said Drew Ivers, a member of the Iowa GOP central committee who is from Webster City.
The tentative agreement was reached during an Iowa GOP Central Committee phone conference last night, Ivers said.
Chairman Matt Strawn wanted to wait to publicly talk about the Jan. 3 date until Monday as a courtesy to officials involved with ongoing talks with New Hampshire, Ivers said.
So is this a variation on what Frontloading HQ called, as referenced in my post last night, Scenario 2?
Iowa on January 5 and New Hampshire on December 13 is a distinct possibility. It keeps Iowa out of December. The blame would not be on the Hawkeye state for slipping into December 2011. That would all rest with New Hampshire; a victim of its own law. [How's that for a strange twist of fate?]Is it effort to force New Hampshire to suck it on their seven day law and settle for Tuesday the 10th, four days before Nevada?
Or is it what FLHQ today calls "an opening offer?"
The Iowa Republican caucuses may end up on January 3, but that will likely have very little to do with the discussion among the decision-makers within the state party over the last couple of days. This is, as it was with Arizona, an opening offer. It is a possibility. It is a threat. But we won't know until October 16 at the earliest whether it is a reality.10/16 is what NH Secretary of State Bill Gardner says is the earliest he will announce the date.
The New Hampshire-Nevada game of chicken is now the Iowa-New Hampshire game of chicken. Iowa has made its offer: January 3. Bill Gardner and New Hampshire have made theirs: December 6. Iowa Republicans are saying, "We are willing to take the last Tuesday spot to make sure that the Iowa Republican caucuses happen in 2012." Bill Gardner and New Hampshire are countering with, "That's fine. We are willing to blow all of this up to protect our state law and the candidate/media attention that law nurtures."Your move, Mr. Gardner.
Gardner holds the trump card. He is seemingly willing to take New Hampshire into December if need be to protect the law. Whether that's true or not, we may never know, but he is seemingly willing to play it. And Iowa Republicans are not willing to slip into December.