Below the radar, Republican moves that both Keep Iowa First for 2012 and keep the other early contests in the same states as the Dems:
A temporary delegate selection committee will recommend allowing IA, NH, SC and NV to hold contests in a pre-window period that begins in Feb., a month later than the '08 process began. Other states may begin holding their contests in March, rather than in Feb.Iowa and New Hampshire have longer traditions. Democrats moved South Carolina up for 2008, both to match the Republicans and to add a state with a large black population to the early mix. THis, of course, gave Bill Clinton a change to insert foot deeply in mouth repeatedly.
The new nominating system maintains traditional spots for early states like NH, which will still hold the first contest, and IA, which has the first caucuses. SC will hold the first-in-the-South contest it covets, with NV maintaining a post it first held in the '08 cycle.
But Nevada is the interesting Republican choice. It mirrors the Dems moving Nevada up in '08 and signals a bipartisan effort to keep contests together and move the dates back:
Moving the beginning of the nominating contest back has been a priority for prominent members of both the DNC and the RNC. RNC members have worked closely with DNC member James Roosevelt, the chairman of the party's rules committee, to jointly move the process to later dates.How does this ripple through nomination politics? If anyone gains it's Mitt.