Sunday, January 30, 2011

2012 Presidential Primary Movement: The Week in Review (Jan. 24-30)

While there wasn't any 2012 calendar movement this past week, there was some further movement toward movement. But what is known this week versus last:
  • Virginia is moving closer to a vote in the state Senate on moving the commonwealth's presidential primary back to March.
  • A host of bills to accomplish the same thing (February to March primary) in Oklahoma have been pre-filed and are waiting on the state legislature to convene there on February 7.
  • The Senate bill to cancel the 2012 presidential primary in Washington emerged from committee and awaits the decision of the Ways and Means Committee before sending it to the floor for an up or down vote.
  • The solution in Kansas is similar to Washington, but appears to be a permanent cancelation of the Sunflower state's presidential primary. No dates for the caucuses in either party are known now, and on the Republican side may not be known until next year according to one Republican activist at the state party's meeting over the weekend.
  • Oh, and Idaho is looking into frontloading its primary. one week to mid-May.
  • As has been mentioned in this space several times, there are currently 18 states with presidential primaries scheduled for February 2012. That would put those 18 states in violation of both parties' delegate selection rules for 2012.
  • Of those 18 primary states, 14 of them (California, Connecticut, Missouri, New York, Arizona, Georgia, Delaware, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, Utah and Virginia) have convened their 2011 state legislative sessions.
  • Of those 14 states, 3 (California, New Jersey and Virginia) have bills that have been introduced and are active within the state legislature to move their contests' dates. Both California and New Jersey have bills that would eliminate an early and separate presidential primaries and position those events with the other primaries for state and local offices. That would mean June presidential primaries for both states if those bills pass and are signed into law.
  • For this next week, then, the 14 early states in conflict with the national parties' rules will be the ones to watch.
  • Oregon's state legislature convenes this week, but none of the four additional states in violation of the national party rules begin their legislative work; not until Oklahoma next week.

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