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October 4th, 2011

January 5th Seems Most Likely Date for Iowa Caucuses

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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About the Author

Craig Robinson
Craig Robinson is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a political news and commentary site he launched in March of 2009. Robinson’s political analysis is respected across party lines, which has allowed him to build a good rapport with journalist across the country. Robinson has also been featured on Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press, ABC’s This Week, and other local television and radio programs. Campaign’s & Elections Magazine recognized Robinson as one of the top influencers of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses. A 2013 Politico article sited Robinson and as the “premier example” of Republican operatives across the country starting up their own political news sites. His website has been repeatedly praised as the best political blog in Iowa by the Washington Post, and in January of 2015, Politico included him on the list of local reporters that matter in the early presidential states. Robinson got his first taste of Iowa politics in 1999 while serving as Steve Forbes’ southeast Iowa field coordinator where he was responsible for organizing 27 Iowa counties. In 2007, Robinson served as the Political Director of the Republican Party of Iowa where he was responsible for organizing the 2007 Iowa Straw Poll and the 2008 First-in-the-Nation Iowa Caucuses. Following the caucuses, he created his own political news and commentary site, Robinson is also the President of Global Intermediate, a national mail and political communications firm with offices in West Des Moines, Iowa, and Washington, D.C. Robinson utilizes his fundraising and communications background to service Global’s growing client roster with digital and print marketing. Robinson is a native of Goose Lake, Iowa, and a 1999 graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, where he earned degrees in history and political science. Robinson lives in Ankeny, Iowa, with his wife, Amanda, and son, Luke. He is an active member of the Lutheran Church of Hope.

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