Sunday, January 23, 2011

Frontloading in Idaho. ...sort of

There is one late add to our list of frontloading/primary movement for the week that just concluded. A bill (HB 14) was introduced in the Idaho House by Secretary of State Tim Hurst to make some "technical corrections" to an election law passed during the legislature's previous session in 2009. Among those corrections was a provision that would move the state's primary -- including presidential primary -- from the fourth Tuesday in May to the third Tuesday in May.

Technically, this could be considered frontloading because of the shift forward on the calendar, but it misses the other key element to the frontloading phenomenon that has occurred in the post-McGovern-Fraser reform era. There is a move ahead on the calendar, but there is no addition to the compression at the beginning of the process. The intent here also is not to carve out a particularly advantageous position on the calendar. Idaho would go from sharing a date with Arkansas, Kentucky and Washington to sharing a date with Nebraska and Oregon. And if history is any guide, both of those dates will likely fall after the point at which the two parties' nominees have been decided. [Yes, there are exceptions to this recent history.]

Thanks to Richard Winger at Ballot Access News for passing this news along to FHQ.

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