Christmas Caucuses? Iowa GOP Says State Will Do Whatever Necessary to Vote First
As Florida tries to hop the voting line, Iowa's GOP chairman says his state will remain first to decide -- no matter what.
Christmas in Iowa canceled?
Not quite. But the Grinches in Florida who control the state's elections dates are making sure that Iowans will have to add "Pick a President" to their holiday to-do lists.
Iowa's caucus date had been set for Feb. 6. Now, it appears, that date will be shifted to sometime in early January -- and possibly December -- as Florida attempts to leapfrog tradition, moving its primary date to Jan. 31, according to numerous news reports, including one from Florida's Sun-Sentinel.
“Iowa will be first,” Matt Strawn, chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa, told The Des Moines Register in an email this morning.
When "first" will be is far from clear, but anything after Jan. 31 would be second, at best, and with New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada promising not to vote after Florida, December is a good bet for Iowa.
Former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu promised, perhaps with the quote of the day, that Florida won't vote before his state.
"Iowa picks corn, Florida picks oranges, and New Hampshire picks presidents," quipped Sununu, according to Exeter Patch, which quoted him as he attended Mitt Romney's town hall meeting at Saint Anselm College.
The New Hampshire primaries had been scheduled for Feb. 14, and South Carolina's and Nevada's after that.
"If Florida decides to go in January, they blow the RNC planned calendar wide open and we'll be back to campaigning over the holidays as Iowa and New Hampshire hold their presidential caucus and primary in early January," Michigan National Committee member Saul Anuzis, who is on the RNC's presidential nominating schedule committee, told CNN.
“Ironically, in attempting to assert increased relevance in the process, Florida’s move only elevates the importance of Iowa and the other early states,” Iowa's Strawn told The Register.
“A compressed caucus and primary calendar makes doing well in the four kickoff states a necessity for a candidate to secure the Republican nomination.”