Monday, December 20, 2010

The 2012 Presidential Primary Calendar (12/20/10)

With the Nevada GOP's action last week -- setting the date of the party's 2012 presidential caucuses -- the big board is in need of an update. Here again are the guidelines for reading the calendar from the last update from June:
  1. Caucus states are italicized while primary states are not. Several caucus states are missing from the list because they have not formalized the date on which their contests will be held in 2012. Colorado appears because the caucuses dates there are set by the state, whereas a state like Alaska has caucuses run by the state parties and as such do not have their dates codified in state law.
  2. States that have changed dates appear twice (or more) on the calendar; once by the old date and once by the new date. The old date will be struck through while the new date will be color-coded with the amount of movement (in days) in parentheses. States in green are states that have moved to earlier dates on the calendar and states in red are those that have moved to later dates. Arkansas, for example, has moved its 2012 primary and moved it back 104 days from its 2008 position.
2012 Presidential Primary Calendar

Monday, January 16, 2012: Iowa caucuses*

Tuesday, January 24
: New Hampshire*

Saturday, January 28: Nevada caucuses*, South Carolina*

A note on the placement of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.

Tuesday, January 31
: Florida

Tuesday, February 7 (Super Tuesday): Alabama, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, Montana Republican caucuses, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Utah

Saturday, February 11: Louisiana

Tuesday, February 14: Maryland, Virginia

Saturday, February 18: Nevada Republican caucuses (-28)

Tuesday, February 21: Hawaii Republican caucuses (+87), Wisconsin

Tuesday, February 28: Arizona**, Michigan***

Tuesday, March 6: Massachusetts***, Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont

Tuesday, March 13: Mississippi

Tuesday, March 20: Colorado caucuses****, Illinois (-42)

Tuesday, April 24: Pennsylvania

Tuesday, May 8: Indiana, North Carolina and West Virginia

Tuesday, May 15: Nebraska, Oregon

Tuesday, May 22: Arkansas (-104), Idaho, Kentucky

Tuesday, June 5: Montana (GOP -119), New Mexico***** and South Dakota

*New Hampshire law calls for the Granite state to hold a primary on the second Tuesday of March or seven days prior to any other similar election, whichever is earlier. Florida is first now, so New Hampshire would be a week earlier at the latest. Traditionally, Iowa has gone on the Monday a week prior to New Hampshire. For the time being we'll wedge South Carolina in on the Saturday between New Hampshire and Florida, but these are just guesses at the moment. Any rogue states could cause a shift.

**In Arizona the governor can use his or her proclamation powers to move the state's primary to a date on which the event would have an impact on the nomination. In 2004 and 2008 the primary was moved to the first Tuesday in February.

***Massachusetts and Michigan are the only states that passed a frontloading bill prior to 2008 that was not permanent. The Bay state reverts to its first Tuesday in March date in 2012 while Michigan will fall back to the fourth Tuesday in February.

****The Colorado Democratic and Republican parties have the option to move their caucuses from the third Tuesday in March to the first Tuesday in February.

*****The law in New Mexico allows the parties to decide when to hold their nominating contests. The Democrats have gone in early February in the last two cycles, but the GOP has held steady in June. They have the option of moving however.

1. Since the Nevada caucuses on both sides of the aisle are given a privileged position -- ahead of the window in which all non-exempt states can hold delegate selection events -- it is more difficult to tabulate how much change there was/will be between the state's 2008 and 2012 positions. This is also true because the state parties are setting caucus dates and are not subject to laws as in primary states where the date is set in stone. In other words, they have a bit more freedom to choose the dates of their contests. What appears above for Nevada assumes that if the GOP had not chosen the February 18, 2012 date in their meeting last week, the state would have continued to hold mid-January caucus meetings (the third Saturday in January to be precise). As such, the Nevada GOP dropped back by four weeks.

2. There are still 18 non-exempt states (between Florida and Arizona/Michigan on the calendar above) that will have to shift the dates on which their primaries are held to come into compliance with the both national parties' sets of rules governing delegate selection. These states continue to be the ones to watch once state legislatures convene in early 2011.

3. You can read more on the potential calendar movement in Molly Ball's article at Politico. You might even see a comment or two from yours truly in there somewhere.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the primary elections in Puerto Rico and the territories! :)