Just five days ago, Republican leaders in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina issued a strong statement saying that all four early states will move as a block if necessary to ensure the order of the nominating process set by the RNC last fall. The four-state alliance was impressive, and for a moment, it seemed possible that the RNC would finally get tough with Florida for once again breaking the nominating rules that have been agreed to.
We now know that all the tough talk was just bluster. Last week, South Carolina GOP Chairman Chad Connelly said, “We refuse to let rogue states dictate the calendar,” but Mr. Connelly was the first to reset his primary date after Florida selected January 31st for its primary.
Wow, you sure showed them…
With the Florida primary set for January 31st and South Carolina set for January 21st, Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada are now forced to hold their contests in early January. New Hampshire law states that its primary must be held at least seven days before any similar election. If New Hampshire would like to hold its primary on a Tuesday, as is tradition, then it would have to hold its primary on January 10th to be in accordance with the law.
Under that scenario, Iowa would caucus in the first week of January, with Thursday night the 5th being the optimal date. January 2nd is a national holiday, which presents logistical problems as many caucuses are held in public buildings, and major college bowl games take place on 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. The 5th, however, is wide open. While the 5th doesn’t provide much time between the caucuses and the New Hampshire primary, the five-day difference is the same as it was in 2008. Nevada, which isn’t really fought-over territory, could hold its caucuses on Saturday the 14th.
The primary calendar fiasco is noting new. In fact, four years ago, the same stories appeared about the New Hampshire primary being held on Christmas or Thanksgiving that we are seeing once again. It’s all nonsense, but just like four years ago, this has all been caused by Florida Republicans. And this is why whoever chose Tampa, Florida, as the site of the 2012 Republican national convention should lose their job. Not only is the RNC allowing them to destroy the nominating calendar it set up, it is actually rewarding the rule breakers them by letting them host the convention.
Wow, you sure showed them…
Even though the nominating calendar is once again severely frontloaded, it will work, just like it did four years ago. The problem that nobody is talking about is what happens if another large state decides to break the rules this year? What if we wake up tomorrow and another populous state announces that it will hold its primary on January 17? Then what?
I’m sure that RNC officials would be quick award them the 2016 Republican convention so long as the weather is nice, but if Florida can break the rules, so can any other state, and in doing so, they would make a mockery out of the nominating process. At this rate, Congress will be forced to take action.
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and the four GOP Chairs from Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina have proven that they are all bark and no bite. The sooner that the RNC admits that it has absolutely no control over the nomination calendar, the better. What’s the point of having countless rules meeting and taking votes if states can do what ever they please?
Iowans, get ready for a January 5th caucus!
At this point, the Republican Party of Iowa Central Committee should just go ahead and set the 2016 caucus date for Monday, January 4th, 2016, while they are at it.
What a joke.
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