Friday, July 24, 2015

Cuomo Signs Bill Setting 2016 New York Presidential Primary for April 19

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) on Thursday, July 23 signed S 5958 into law. The new law sets the 2016 presidential primary in the Empire state for April 19, moving the election back from the first Tuesday in February.

The 2012 New York primary followed a similar trajectory. The legislature moved the 2012 primary to the fourth Tuesday in April from the first Tuesday in February during its 2011 session. However, that action expired at the end of calendar year 2012. That returned the New York presidential primary to February and forced the legislature to again consider the calendar position of the presidential primary for the 2016 cycle.

While the 2011 and 2015 primary shifts were similar, the end result is slightly different. New Yorkers went to the polls alongside primary voters in Connecticut, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island in 2012. That late regional primary bolstered the (Democratic) delegate totals in each of the five states. Last month it appeared that New York would be headed for a similar position for 2016 with the same four other states plus Maryland. However, due to a conflict between the date of those other states' primaries (April 26) and the Passover holidays, legislators in New York settled on a presidential primary date a week earlier on the calendar, April 19.

At this point, New York is the only state with a primary or caucus on that date. Given how late it is -- both in the sequence of states setting dates in 2015 but also the sequence on the primary calendar itself -- that is unlikely to change. New York will likely stand alone on April 19.

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Mystery Politico said...

Since the path now appears to be clear for IA/NH/NV/SC to be the only pre-March 1 states, I'm wondering if you have any update on the scheduling of Nevada and South Carolina. I think the South Carolina GOP was looking at Feb. 20th? Are the South Carolina Dems likely to go on the same day, or will there be a split, like in 2008? Is Nevada likely to be before or after South Carolina, or will it be different in each party? Are there journalists from the respective states who might have insight into this, who can be contacted on Twitter?

Josh Putnam said...

I don't know that the parties in those states (or Secretary Gardner in New Hampshire) necessarily have much incentive to set those dates at this point. I would be surprised if any other state encroaches on that February territory, but the modus operandi this cycle looks something like "act like the primary/caucus is going be on the likely date, but wait for the deadline or something close to it to officially set the date". We're also seeing something similar in Georgia. All the talk out of the secretary of state's office in the Peach state has been about March 1 and the SEC primary (and getting other states to join), but there has not been any official announcement out of Atlanta about that date.

The RNC deadline to settle dates and allocation rules is October 1. [Brian Kemp has until January 1 to make a decision on the Georgia date under current state law; 60 days of lead time for election preparation.]

Still, I would be surprised if the calendar did not look something like:
February 1: Iowa
February 9: New Hampshire
February 20: South Carolina
February 23: Nevada

February 1: Iowa
February 9: New Hampshire
February 23: Nevada
February 27: South Carolina

Those dates are reflected in the draft delegate selection plans from the carve-outs states on the Democratic side. And I'll feel much safer penciling in the GOP dates above once I've done some additional investigating of the remaining, unsettled Republican caucus dates.