You have now entered the speculative zone. Oklahoma and Illinois were one thing, but this is quite another. FHQ finds it helpful to do exercises in hypotheticals from time to time, but this one may be a stretch. Yet, when I came across this discussion about New Jersey's 2009 governor's race, it triggered a memory of a recent addition to the law governing the Garden state's presidential primary.
Now bear with me here...
The bill (A3186) keeps the date of the now separate presidential primary on the same first-Tuesday-in-February date, but now allows for the secretary of state to shift the date should it coincide with a "period of religious observance" that imposes "a substantial burden on an individual's ability to vote."
Now, I'm not sure about what religious observances may pop up during the first week in Tuesday in February 2012. And I certainly don't see the state of New Jersey being motivated to shift its presidential primary again, especially since just the Republican nomination will be at stake. But what if New Jersey Republicans were able to unseat Democratic Governor Jon Corzine? It isn't likely to happen if you listen to the folks over at Daily Kos, but the catch here is that the office of secretary of state in New Jersey is not an elective office. It is a position appointed by the governor. If that governor was a Republican would the administration be motivated to move the primary forward -- likely in violation of either parties' rules -- thus challenging the language of the new law?
Yeah, I didn't think it was likely either. New Jersey would be a nice medium to large chunk of delegates for one well-positioned candidate after New Hampshire, though. It is a winner-take-all primary after all.
We'll see. My bet is that Arkansas moves back to May over New Jersey ultimately pulling the trigger on this scheme.
Out of Committee and On to the Floor: Back to May for the Arkansas Presidential Primary
Illinois in 2012