Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp Set to Schedule Presidential Primary

FHQ just had Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp's office send along this press release:

Secretary of State Kemp to Announce Georgia’s Presidential Preference Primary Date  
Atlanta – Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp will announce the state’s presidential preference primary date on Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 11 a.m. in the Georgia Capitol, South Wing.   
What: Secretary of State Brian Kemp to announce the state’s presidential                           preference primary date.  
Where: Georgia Capitol, South Wing  
When: Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 11 a.m.

This is all very interesting. Let's read the tea leaves, shall we.

First of all, that Secretary Kemp is weighing in on when the Georgia presidential primary will be ahead of when the Florida Presidential Preference Primary Date Selection Committee will meet (Friday, September 30 between 11am-noon) to set the Florida date is telling. It tells me that Georgia will not go before January 31. Why decide on a date that challenges Florida before Florida is set to decide on their date? In fact, just because Florida Speaker Dean Cannon has said that the PPPDSC will likely choose January 31 does not make that binding. Georgia, then, will not make a decision prior to Florida if they want to go before Florida. Florida would simply leapfrog Georgia's date on Friday.

That means that Georgia is most likely to go on a date between January 31 and March 6. More specific still, Georgia is likely to jump Arizona and Michigan at the very least (before February 28). But will Georgia opt to go on January 31 with Florida or attempt to fill some empty space in February -- say February 14 or 21 -- and set a date then where they will hold a non-compliant, but significant primary with a date all to themselves? That is a tough one. But the rationale used above, though, one would have to think it is the latter. Florida wants a position all to themselves also. Why would Georgia schedule its primary on the same date as Florida before Florida has made its decision? Florida's PPPDSC could just move up another week on Friday.

My guess is that Georgia ends up on February 14 or 21. [Having waved my magic presidential primary wand, I will now be proven wrong.] That also means that we can eliminate a few of the calendar scenarios from this morning.

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