Tags: | Iowa | caucuses | date | change

Iowa GOP Ready to Change Caucuses Dates

Thursday, 29 Sep 2011 10:43 AM

By Greg McDonald

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Republican Party officials in Iowa are preparing to move up the state’s presidential caucuses to maintain its “first-in-the-nation” testing status for candidates on the road to the White House.
 
New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina — whose primaries now follow closely behind the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 6 — plan to do the same thing in order to stay ahead of Florida.
 
Florida Republican officials are expected to defy the Republican National Committee (RNC) and declare Jan. 31 as the state’s new primary date at a meeting on Friday. They have been warned by the RNC that the decision could cost them half their delegates to the national convention.
 
But a similar warning didn’t phase Colorado or Arizona Republicans who have already moved their primaries dates to Feb 7 and Feb. 28 respectively. Under current RNC rules only Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina are allowed to hold their primaries before March 6.
 
Iowa officials told the Des Moines Register Wednesday there is an “increasing possibility” the state caucuses will be moved to the first week in January, which would accelerate GOP candidate efforts in the state and serve to increase Iowa’s influence on the nomination process.
 
“The issue is one of a matter of preparedness,” Polk County Republican Chairman Kevin McLaughlin told the Register. “Anyone who wants to run should have their messages in order by now.”
 
As things stand now, the Iowa caucuses are still scheduled for Feb. 6, the New Hampshire primary for Feb. 14, Nevada on Feb 18, and South Carolina on Feb. 28.

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