Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Florida wants January 31 primary

Happy New Year In Des Moines

Here we go again:
Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon told CNN on Tuesday that a state commission exploring potential primary dates is likely to choose January 31 to hold the nominating contest.

If that happens, it would almost certainly force the traditional early states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada to leapfrog Florida and move their primaries and caucuses into early- to mid-January.
The RNC doesn't have the full death penalty Democrats has (but then didn't enforce) last cycle: the loss of all delegates. No matter when they go, they lose only half. But their is another powerful weapon:
States that ignore the RNC rules are subject to losing half of their delegates -- party representatives who ultimately choose the nominee -- to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, next August.
Calendar cheaters shouldn't get to be convention hoists.
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and other GOP officials have been aggressively lobbying Florida Gov. Rick Scott and state legislative leaders to move the primary back to February 21 in a last-ditch effort to protect the integrity of the nominating calendar, sources told CNN.

But members of the Florida commission remain wary of states like Colorado, Georgia and Missouri, which are threatening to hold primaries or caucuses before February 21.
Unfortunately Florida, as the largest swing state, is kind of an 800 pound gorilla here. So what does this mean for me, Al Franken... I mean us, Iowa?

We're in a little better shape than we were when it was Arizona looking at January 31, when everything had to dovetail perfectly to keep Iowa in calendar 2012. But we're also a little more confused. Remember, the Official order is Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina, everyone else. Two basic scenarios:

  • South Carolina goes a week before Florida on January 24. This puts Nevada on Saturday the 21st or maybe Tuesday 1/17. New Hampshire will insist on a full week and a traditional Tuesday, which means the 10th. That puts us in the first week of January: Monday the 2nd if we insist on eight days, Thursday the 5th if we want to move away from New Year's Day a bit.

  • If South Carolina goes with a Saturday, which they've done before, make it the 28th. Put Nevada on Tuesday the 24th, New Hampshire on the 17th, and us in the second week of January: Monday 1/9, Tuesday 1/10, or Thursday 1/12.

    Saturday is the RNC's Official deadline for date picking... but who cares about rules anyway?
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