Thursday, February 19, 2009

1992 Presidential Primary Calendar

January (late): Hawaii Republican precinct caucuses
January - March: North Dakota Republican precinct caucuses
January - May: Virginia Republican local meetings

February 2: Nevada Republican caucuses (through February 29)
February 10: Iowa caucuses (both parties)
February 18: New Hampshire primary
February 23: Maine caucuses (both parties)
February 25: South Dakota primary

March 2: Alaska Republican caucuses
March 3: Colorado primary, Georgia primary, Idaho Democratic caucuses, Maryland primary, Minnesota Democratic caucuses, Utah Democratic caucuses, Washington Democratic caucuses
March 5: North Dakota Democratic caucuses (through March 19)
March 7: Arizona caucuses (Both parties, but the GOP caucuses had no presidential preference. Those delegates selected at those caucuses went to the state convention -- 5/10/1992 -- where national convention delegate allocation took place.), South Carolina primary (party-run), Wyoming caucuses (Both parties, but Republicans meet through March 11)
March 8: Nevada Democratic caucuses
March 10: Delaware Democratic caucuses, Florida primary, Hawaii Democratic caucuses, Louisiana primary, Massachusetts primary, Mississippi primary, Missouri Democratic caucuses, Oklahoma primary, Rhode Island primary, Tennessee primary, Texas primary (& Democratic caucuses)
March 17: Illinois primary, Michigan primary
March 24: Connecticut primary
March 31: Vermont caucuses (both parties)

April - May: Hawaii Republican regional caucuses
April 2: Alaska Democratic caucuses, North Dakota Republican convention (through April 5)
April 7: Kansas primary, Minnesota primary (Republicans only), New York primary (Republicans had no presidential preference on ballot; just delegates), Wisconsin primary
April 11: Virginia Democratic caucuses (& April 13)
April 14: Missouri Republican caucuses
April 27: Utah Republican caucuses
April 28: Pennsylvania primary

May 5: Indiana primary, North Carolina primary
May 9: Delaware Republican convention
May 10: Arizona Republican convention
May 12: Nebraska primary, West Virginia primary
May 19: Oregon primary, Washington primary (Republicans only)
May 26: Arkansas primary, Idaho primary (Republicans only), Kentucky primary
May 29: Virginia Republican convention (through May 30, no formal process)

June 2: Alabama primary, California primary, Montana primary (Democrats only), New Jersey primary, New Mexico primary, Ohio primary
June 9: North Dakota primary (beauty contest for both parties)

July 9-11: Montana Republican convention (no formal process)

[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 1992. The latter was used to double-check the dates or discover missing ones.]

A few notes:
1. This map has been altered slightly from the one that was in the chronological slideshow previously. The reason for this is that I wanted to add in the dates of the Republican primaries and caucuses as well. I touched on this in the calendar post for 1984, but didn't account for the uncompetitive Republican contests that year because the data were harder to come by. For 1992, I was able to track those dates down. The result is a lot of split states.* And though these uncompetitive Republican contests don't factor into my specific research question regarding frontloading, their movement from cycle to cycle could open the door to an alternate set of questions.

2. The frontloading witnessed in 1992 was a product of, similar to the situations in 2004 and 2008, the window being widened to allow for earlier contests. In 2004 that meant February contests, but in 1992, national party rules allowed for contests to take place during the first week in March. Furthermore, Iowa and New Hampshire were joined in 1992 by South Dakota and Maine as states exempted from the Democratic Party's window rule (No contest could be held before the first Tuesday in March unless exempted by the party.).

3. Several states made the transition from caucus to primary in 1992. Though, oddly enough, none of them stuck. Colorado, Kansas and Minnesota all were previously caucus states, were primary states in 1992 and by 2004 were all caucus states again. Those 1992 shifts were countered by the opposite move in a couple of border/Southern states. Both Missouri and Virginia went from being primary states in 1988 -- for the Southern Super Tuesday -- to being caucus states in 1992. South Carolina, on the other hand, moved to a primary in 1992 and in the case of the Republican Party has kept that primary in place ever since.

4. And what about frontloading in 1992? Compared to 1988 there wasn't that much movement forward on the calendar. South Dakota, with its exemption, jumped the most -- from June to February -- but, on the whole, the '92 cycle was marked by backloading more than frontloading. Several Southern states reverted to prior positions (Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, North Carolina). The frontloading that did take place was much less pronounced, movement measured in weeks instead of months (Colorado, Georgia and Maryland). The result is that this calendar is essentially equally as frontloaded as 1988 if not slightly less so.

5. The Republican contests were difficult to nail down in some cases. The map reflects the point at which the earliest step in the process occurred. So though Hawaii, North Dakota and Virginia didn't allocate delegates until their conventions, there were early (and staggered) meetings that took place in January.

Recent Posts:
The 2012 Presidential Primary Calendar (2/19/09)

Beebe's Signature Makes It Official: Arkansas Back to May

North Carolina Bill to Move 2012 Primary to February

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