Monday, April 27, 2015

Nevada Switch to a Presidential Primary Has 'Quiet' Support from the RNC

Both bills to reestablish a presidential primary in Nevada missed deadlines last week to have passed their originating chamber. The idea of trading out the often-used caucuses in the Silver state for a presidential primary is not dead though. Neither are the bills really. As was the case in Washington, because both presidential primary bills have budgetary ramifications, they may be revived (once amended).

Now, Jon Ralston is reporting that there is support for the presidential primary idea at the RNC:
I'm also reliably told that Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, who was in Las Vegas this weekend at Sheldonfest, is quietly supporting the primary and has made calls. Why quietly? Because Priebus knows how nuts the state party is, I'd guess, and wants this as far away from those folks as possible, but knows he may have to work with them.
Mostly, this is based on the rocky road the Nevada Republican Party presidential caucuses (and all the way through to the state conventions) have traveled since they were indirectly thrust into the carve-out state spotlight prior to the 2008 presidential primary season.1 That is something FHQ cited yesterday.

The final version of the bill sounds like it will have to merge components of both the Assembly version and the Senate version (at least according to the wish list of those Ralston spoke with). The former has the opt-in provision that will allow Democrats the leeway to continue caucusing2, and the latter has the consolidated February primaries provision that will save the expense of two primaries (a presidential primary in February and a primary for non-presidential offices in June).

All that entails some more legislative wrangling before the first of June.

1 The DNC first gave Nevada along with South Carolina a privileged status alongside (well, behind) Iowa and New Hampshire in 2006 to diversify the early primary electorate. The Republican National Committee allowed Nevada Republicans to join the fun at the beginning of the primary calendar queue after that.

2 Nevada Democrats have expressed some concern that losing the caucuses option might affect the party's privileged status from the DNC. Rule 11 of the 2016 Democratic Party delegate selection rules directly specify the "Nevada first-tier caucuses" when providing guidelines for how the carve-out state contests should be scheduled.

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