Tuesday, February 10, 2009

1984 Presidential Primary Calendar


February 20: Iowa caucuses (both parties)
February 28: New Hampshire primary

March 4: Maine Democratic caucuses
March 10: Wyoming Democratic caucuses
March 13: Alabama primary, Florida primary, Georgia primary, Hawaii Democratic caucuses, Massachusetts primary, Nevada Democratic caucuses, Oklahoma Democratic caucuses, Rhode Island primary, Washington Democratic caucuses
March 14: Delaware Democratic caucuses, North Dakota Democratic caucuses (through March 28)
March 15: Alaska Democratic caucuses
March 17: Arkansas Democratic caucuses, Michigan Democratic caucuses, Mississippi Democratic caucuses, South Carolina Democratic caucuses
March 20: Illinois primary, Minnesota Democratic caucuses
March 24: Kansas Democratic caucuses, Virginia Democratic caucuses (and March 26)
March 25: Montana Democratic caucuses
March 27: Connecticut primary
March 31: Kentucky Democratic caucuses

April 3: New York primary, Wisconsin primary (Republicans only)
April 7: Wisconsin Democratic caucuses
April 10: Pennsylvania primary
April 14: Arizona Democratic caucuses
April 18: Missouri Democratic caucuses
April 24: Vermont Democratic caucuses
April 25: Utah Democratic caucuses

May 1: Tennessee primary
May 5: Colorado Democratic caucuses, Louisiana primary, Texas Democratic caucuses
May 8: Indiana primary, Maryland primary, North Carolina primary, Ohio primary
May 15: Nebraska primary, Oregon primary
May 24: Idaho primary and Democratic caucuses (primary was a beauty contest with no delegates at stake; delegates were allocated through the caucuses)

June 5: California primary, Mississippi primary (Republicans only), Montana primary (Republicans only), New Jersey primary, New Mexico primary, South Dakota primary, West Virginia primary

[Primaries in bold]

States that are split vertically had different dates for different party contests. The shade to the left of that line corresponds with the month in which the Democratic contest took place and the right side represents the Republican contest.

[Source: Congressional Quarterly and news accounts from 1984. The latter was used to double-check the dates or discover missing ones.]

A few notes:
1) 1984, and to a lesser extent 1992 and 1996, are frustrating years for cataloging the full calendar. The Democratic calendar is much easier to put together, but the Republican calendar is harder to come by simply because Ronald Reagan ran virtually unopposed in his bid for the GOP nomination that year. In other words, we know when the GOP primaries were, but have a more difficult time ascertaining when the caucuses were held. This is less a problem in 1992 and 1996 because that data is readily available, though harder to find than, say, the Republican calendar in 2004. As such, this is a tentative map and calendar. It will be augmented as soon as I incorporate the Republican calendar. That information isn't a vital portion of my research question, but it will certainly be something to account for in the future. There are some potentially secondary questions there.

2) The 1984 calendar is an awful lot like the one in 1980. 15 of the 26 primaries (excluding the Idaho beauty contest for the Democrats) held occurred after the beginning of May.
3) However, the date on which the greatest number of delegate selection events were held was March 13; much earlier than in 1980 when the last week had nine contests. Granted in 1980, the first Tuesday in June had nine total contests to the second Tuesday in March's seven, whereas four years later those numbers were in reverse. In other words, there wasn't a large overall shift of contests to earlier dates.

3) Overall, the month of March saw six more contests in 1984 as compared to 1980. But the fact that there were no January contests and four fewer February contests in 1984 was the main factor driving this increase; not movement from the later states of 1980.

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