Tuesday, March 3, 2009

2000 Presidential Primary Calendar

January 24: Iowa caucuses (both parties)

February 1: New Hampshire primary
February 5: Delaware primary (Democrats only, Beauty contest -- no delegates at stake)
February 7: Hawaii Republican caucuses (through February 13)
February 8: Delaware primary (Republicans only, party-run)
February 19: South Carolina Republican primary (party-run)
February 22: Arizona primary (Republicans only), Michigan primary (Republicans only)
February 23: Alaska Republican caucuses, Nevada Republican caucuses (through March 21)
February 29: North Dakota Republicans caucuses, Virginia primary (Republicans only), Washington primary (Democratic beauty contest -- no delegates at stake)

March 7: California primary, Connecticut primary, Georgia primary, Hawaii Democratic caucuses, Idaho Democratic caucuses, Maine primary, Maryland primary, Massachusetts primary, Missouri primary, Minnesota Republican caucuses, New York primary, North Dakota Democratic caucuses, Ohio primary, Rhode Island primary, Vermont primary, Washington caucuses (both parties)
March 9: South Carolina Democratic caucuses (party-run, "firehouse" primary)
March 10: Colorado primary, Utah primary, Wyoming Republican caucuses
March 11: Arizona Democratic caucuses, Michigan Democratic caucuses, Minnesota Democratic caucuses
March 12: Nevada Democratic caucuses
March 14: Florida primary, Louisiana primary, Mississippi primary, Oklahoma primary, Tennessee primary, Texas primary (both parties & Democratic caucuses)
March 18: Kentucky Republican caucuses
March 21: Illinois primary
March 25: Wyoming Democratic caucuses
March 27: Delaware Democratic caucuses

April 4: Pennsylvania primary, Wisconsin primary
April 15: Virginia Democratic caucuses (& April 17)
April 22: Alaska Democratic caucuses

May 2: Indiana primary, North Carolina primary
May 6: Kansas Democratic caucuses
May 9: Nebraska primary, West Virginia primary
May 16: Oregon primary
May 23: Arkansas primary, Idaho primary (Republicans only), Kentucky primary (Democrats only)
May 25: Kansas Republican convention

June 6: Alabama primary, Montana primary, New Jersey primary, New Mexico primary, South Dakota 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: The Green Papers and news accounts from 2000. The latter was used to double-check the dates or discover missing ones.]

A few notes:
1) For a year when both parties had "contested" nomination races, there really was a surprising dearth of frontloading. California and Ohio inched up to join Super Tuesday, but those were really the only moves of significance. Even the GOP's allowing for February contests didn't serve as that big a departure from the 1996 calendar.

2) Having said that, Arizona, Delaware, Michigan and Virginia all took advantage of those new rules by holding February contests. It was those contests that kept the Bush-McCain race in the news while the Democrats waited out the period between New Hampshire on February 1 and Super Tuesday a month later. Bill Bradley sincerely wishes the DNC had let some of those other states go that wanted to go earlier. Then again, that was part of the reason that the Democratic side had a "contest" for its nomination. I keep saying "contest" simply because Bush-Gore was a done deal to the point that political scientists were making bets about the race in early 1999. And no, it wasn't your truly, who was merely a baby political scientist at the University of North Carolina at the time.

3) The February allowance by the GOP opened the door for a transitional 2004 calendar and then a 2008 calendar where February was the new March: where most states had taken up residence. So while frontloading between 1996 and 2000 was lacking, the rules changes for 2000 set the stage for the calendars that would develop for the races throughout the rest of the decade.

Recent Posts:
Shoveling Out from Under...

The Supreme Court Weighing in on Frontloading?

1996 Presidential Primary Calendar


Jack said...

"Bill Bradley sincerely wishes the DNC had let some of those other states go that wanted to go earlier."

Given that Gore won every primary, how would this have made a difference?

Josh Putnam said...

Here's the thing on Bradley. He wasn't doing that badly in terms of fundraising since there was a significant anti-Gore faction among the rank-in-file members of the party.

New Hampshire was a killer for his candidacy with the way the calendar was set up after that contest. McCain brought a significant majority of New Hampshire independents over to the Republican primary. That hurt, but then there wasn't anything between New Hampshire and Super Tuesday for the Democrats. If they had allowed Arizona and/or Delaware and/or Michigan to hold their contests during that period it would have given Bradley a better shot to get a win and not going into Super Tuesday on a two contest losing streak.

Would that have significantly improved Bradley's chances of winning the 2000 Democratic nomination? Significantly? No. But it would have improved his chances.

I'm thinking something like Steve Forbes in 1996 (without Pat Buchanan in the race). Well, if Buchanan isn't in the race, Phil Gramm wouldn't have been eliminated as early. Fine, I opened up a can of worms with that analogy.

Jack said...

Thanks. If you were, as you put it, a "baby political scientist" then, I was, well, 11. I know some people that age probably followed the primaries, but not me.

Which means I know even less about 1996.