SC Saturday 1/21
"South Carolina will hold its Republican primary Saturday, Jan. 21, state GOP Chairman Chad Connelly will announce Monday morning. Connelly's announcement places South Carolina's primary 10 days before Florida's rogue Jan. 31 primary announced last week, and will likely push voting in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada to early January. "
Well, crap. This doesn't help.
We're still looking at Nevada and New Hampshire butting heads. If Nevada now insists on Saturda 1/14, and New Hampshire insists on a full week after, and on a Tuesday, that puts them on Tuesday 1/3... and puts us in calendar 2011.
No one wants that to happen because, as Frontloading HQ noted, crossing the calendar year psychological barrier is too big a risk to the status of Iowa and New Hampshire. I think that's true even if NH is in January but we're in December.
So I see two scenarios:
1) South Carolina and Nevada share Saturday 1/21. SC wants "first in the south," NV wants "first in the west." That could put NH on Saturday 1/14 or Tuesday 1/10, and us in the first week of January.
2) If Nevada insists on "Saturday after New Hampshire" and its own day to itself, and New Hampshire insists on "one full week," then New Hampshire could take Saturday 1/7. NH Secretary of State Bill Gardner has said in the past he would consier a Saturday date, though he's never done it.
In that case, we'd probably be pushed to early in the first week of January: Monday 1/2 or Tuesday 1/3. We already broke the barrier of eight days between IA and NH in 2008.
My bet is scenario 2 is more likely, but then I was betting on SC going on Tuesday 1/24, too.