There's a different "first in the nation" in presidential primary politics: the first state in the nation to move its presidential primary. For the second cycle in a row, Arkansas looks as if it will claim that mantle. In 2005 it was all about being early, but four years later saving money (and face, perhaps) seems to have won out.
Today the Arkansas Senate followed the lead of its counterparts in the House and voted unanimously to repeal the presidential primary established in the nearly four year old law. The bill (HB 1021) now heads to the governor's desk, and all signs point toward him signing it into law. A collective vote of 131 - 0 and $3 million in cost savings will do that even when the legislature and governor's mansion are controlled by different parties.
Arkansas Senate Slated to Vote on 2012 Presidential Primary Today
1976 Presidential Primary Calendar
Chairman Steele and the 2012 Presidential Primary Calendar