Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Two Bills Introduced to Move Virginia Presidential Primary from February to March

There have been two bills introduced in the Virginia House to shift the date on which the state's presidential primary is held from the first second Tuesday in February to the first Tuesday in March. Both bills (HB 1667 and HB 1843) are exactly the same except for the fact that the former bill lowers the petition signature requirement from 10,000 to 5,000 for presidential candidates. That bill was introduced by Democrat Jennifer McClellan while HB 1843 was introduced by Republican Mark Cole. Each bill was prefiled on Monday, January 10 and was introduced today.

Both bills will be added to our left sidebar gadget, "Presidential Primary Bills Before State Legislatures".

NOTE: Please make note of the strikethrough above. Virginia state law places the state's presidential primary on the SECOND Tuesday in February, not the first as was initially stated. Thanks to reader, MysteryPolitico, for catching that.

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astrojob said...

"from the first Tuesday in February to the first Tuesday in March"

Isn't Virginia's primary currently scheduled for the *second* Tuesday in February?

Josh Putnam said...

You say that like there is a calendar in the upper right corner of this blog that says that. No way.

Yes, you are correct. In my haste to get that up before I headed out the door for the day, I inadvertently put them a week earlier than they actually are in Virginia. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Will VA be proportional by number of votes or congressional district?

Josh Putnam said...

A very good questions, FC. The state doesn't make that determination. Whether the primary is proportional by votes, congressional, or some other combination is up to the Republican Party of Virginia to decide.

The thing that is and will be interesting is whether any loopholes can be read into the RNC's delegate selection rules. The rule just says proportional. It says nothing about completely proportional or whether a winner-take-all set up on the congressional district level along with a proportional allocation of the remaining delegates based on the statewide vote will suffice. Now, this is all speculation on my part. I have nothing to back me up on this, but I have wondered about this since the RNC approved the 2012 rules.

Regardless it will be up to VAGOP to decide.

Anonymous said...

I have a hunch that if the VA GOP has a preferrence for Romney or any other moderate they will make it by vote as there are a higher number of moderates in the heavily populated eastern portion of the state. If The VA GOP is more about fairness, they will do by district.

Josh Putnam said...

We'll have to see how it shakes out. The rule is not necessary clear about what constitutes "proportional". There is some potential for variation there.