2012 GOP Race May Break New Ground — in 2011

Thursday, 06 Oct 2011 10:12 AM

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The Nevada Republican Party’s decision to bump up its presidential caucus up to Jan. 14 could pull the GOP nomination process all the way into this year instead of the traditional launch month of January. Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina all have moved their contests from February to January as a result of Florida’s setting its primary for Jan. 31.

The various states have laws setting the times for the first-in-the-nation primaries and caucuses and mandating how many days they must occur before other contests. New Hampshire’s primary must be held at least eight days before any other state except Iowa, and Iowa law stipulates that its caucuses must take place at least seven days before other contests, The Washington Post reported.

So, if Nevada goes with Jan. 14, Iowa could convene its caucuses in December, while New Hampshire would vote no later than Jan. 3.
Of course, the party could ignore the timetable. In 2008, Iowa had its caucuses just five days before New Hampshire’s contest, the Post reported.

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