Showing posts with label election timing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label election timing. Show all posts

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Nevada GOP Sets 2012 Presidential Caucuses Date

From Politico:
"The Nevada Republican Executive Committee voted Wednesday to hold the party's 2012 presidential caucus on February 18, a decision that could make GOP voters in the "First in the West" state third in line to vote for their party's next nominee."
The February 18, 2012 date for the Republican caucuses in the Silver state is aligned with where the Democratic Rules and Bylaws Committee had Nevada slated on their calendar for the Democratic nomination. I'm less surprised by the setting of the date than I am by the timing of it all. The Nevada Republican Party is not taking the wait-and-see approach that Iowa and New Hampshire (or even South Carolina Republicans) typically take for setting the dates on which their delegate selection events are held. Those states let all the other states that are going to move make their moves and then react. For various reasons -- the state parties, not state legislatures, control the date setting power in Iowa and South Carolina and the New Hampshire secretary of state holds that power in the Granite state -- those earliest of states are better able to move than other states. Of course, it helps to get an exemption from the national parties as well. The Nevada Republican Party is acting as if it does not have that privilege by setting their caucuses date this early in the 2012 cycle.

There is precedence for this, however. Nevada Republicans moved their first round contests to February 2008 (basically where they were in 2004) in March 2007, but quickly changed that a month later to align their contest with the January 19 timing of the Nevada Democratic caucuses. Again, without having to filter this date-setting decision through the state government -- state legislature and governor -- state parties have much more leeway to shift the dates on which their, typically, caucuses are held. They can revisit the date with much more freedom than the state governmental apparatus.

That isn't to say that Nevada will or won't move again ahead of 2012, but until some other states, especially those eighteen February states* that have to change their state laws to come into compliance with the new national party rules, make a move, an asterisk should be placed next to Nevada for now. FHQ will use pencil for the moment. Once the state legislatures begin convening next and start addressing this issue, we can maybe shift to chiseling it into stone for 2012.

*That count includes one primary currently scheduled for January, Florida.

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Friday, May 28, 2010

New 2012 Rules, New 2012 Primary Calendar

The following is a look at the calendar with Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina placed where the national parties have specified and when contests in the remaining primary states are scheduled according to state law. For a glimpse at what the 2012 presidential primary calendar looks like currently, click here.

No, nothing is official and nothing will be regarding the 2012 presidential nomination rules until August. However, let's assume for a moment that the rules as currently proposed in both parties will be adopted. That means that Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina can hold contests in February while the remaining states and territories have to carve out a space between the first Tuesday in March and the first Tuesday in June. The scuttlebutt from New Hampshire -- at least following the Republican Temporary Delegate Selection Committee recommendations -- has been that, under that scenario, Iowa would hold its caucuses on the first Monday in February followed by the New Hampshire primary eight days later. Nevada and South Carolina would hold their events at least a week later. Then, once March 7 hits, all the remaining states would be free to schedule their delegate selection events.

Yes FHQ, but how would the calendar look? I'm glad you asked.

2012 Presidential Primary Calendar (under proposed new rules--pre-sanction)

Tuesday, January 31
: Florida

Monday, February 6: Iowa caucuses

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

Saturday, February 11: Louisiana

Tuesday, February 14: New Hampshire, Maryland, Virginia

Tuesday, February 21: Nevada caucuses, South Carolina Republican primary, Hawaii Republican caucuses, Wisconsin

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

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

Tuesday, March 13: Mississippi

Tuesday, March 20: Colorado caucuses****, Illinois

Tuesday, April 24: Pennsylvania

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

Tuesday, May 15: Nebraska, Oregon

Tuesday, May 22: Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky

Tuesday, June 5: Montana, 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 Nevada and 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.

No, I doubt Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina volunteer to take those spots, too. None of those states will jump first and wait on the remaining early states to move back to comply with the national parties' proposed rules. Iowa won't volunteer to go after Florida and New Hampshire won't willingly hold its primary after Super Tuesday. Iowa and New Hampshire are never the first to move anyway. They reserve the right to move last -- after every other state has locked into position.

FHQ doesn't want to risk beating a dead horse here, but this is just another way of showing how difficult it is going to be for the parties to get those February states in line. The "yes, but look what happens if we stay put" argument comes out in full force if there isn't an adequate enforcement mechanism in place. I think Florida would quite like this set up, don't you? Of course, Iowa and New Hampshire would shift the dates of their contests to something like this* if that happened.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Ex Post Facto: Why Do New Jersey and Virginia Have Those Off-Off Year Elections Anyway?

It turns out that in both cases, it was a function of the fact that both had constitutional conventions to draft new guidelines for governing each state. That, in turn, disrupted the timing of gubernatorial elections.

In New Jersey:
Prior to the adoption of the modern New Jersey Constitution, New Jersey governors served three year terms, with the last gubernatorial election under the old constitution occurring in 1946. In 1947, the legislature proposed a constitutional convention which was voted on as a referendum and approved by a majority of voters. The new constitution was ratified in 1947, and among many other changes, extended the governor’s term to four years. This extension, however, did not apply to the current governor’s (Alfred Driscoll) term, who had been elected under the old constitution. So, Driscoll’s first term, which had begun in 1947, ended in 1950. When Driscoll ran for reelection, the term limits of the new constitution applied, so Driscoll’s second term lasted for four years. The election to replace Driscoll occurred in November of 1953, and thanks to the new four year terms, every New Jersey gubernatorial election from then on naturally fell on an off-off year.
And in Virginia:

In March 1851, while the constitutional convention was meeting, the Virginia General Assembly elected a new governor, as it had for the past 75 years for a three-year term. The newly elected governor Joseph Johnson was to take office on January 1, 1852, but in the ensuing months Virginia voters approved the new constitution which among other things expanded suffrage to all white male citizens 21 years or older who had been residents for at least two year and required the governor to be popularly elected to a four-year term. The constitution also prohibited the governor from serving successive terms, a prohibition that is still in place today.

Soon after the new constitution was adopted Democrats met in convention in Staunton and nominated Johnson to run for governor. The first popular election for governor was held on December 8, 1851, but the results of the election were not certified until January 15, 1852. Not wanting to leave the Commonwealth without a chief executive, Johnson assumed the governor’s office on January 1, 1852 by rights of his having been elected by the General Assembly the previous March. On January 15, after the results of the election were certified, he was declared the winner of the first popular election for governor in the Commonwealth’s history and assumed the office on that basis on January 16. A series of unelected military governors during Reconstruction shifted the election cycle from one-year before presidential elections on the odd year to one-year after presidential elections on the odd year, and that pattern has remained ever since.

This is interesting material from a new blog from the Society for Election Law at William & Mary. They just opened up shop on Monday, but this promises to be a site worth checking in the future. Click on the state links above to read the full entries on both New Jersey and Virginia. There's much more to the Virginia post.

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