Over the weekend, Hawaii Republicans at their annual convention voted down the convention system they have used for allocating Republican presidential nomination delegates in favor of a caucus system. In the process, Aloha state Republicans scheduled the 2012 caucuses for third Tuesday in February. That would bring the contest in line with where Hawaii Democrats held their caucuses during the 2004 and 2008 cycles.
Now, this is a tentative date at this point. There were two proposals that could have been on the table at the state convention. The caucus plan obviously, but there was also a plan for a closed primary that passed the county convention stage but was withheld by the Rules Committee for the Hawaii GOP. The latter plan may come up at a convention in the future and change the date of the GOP's delegate selection event in the Aloha state. However, we can pencil the Hawaii GOP caucuses in for February 21, 2012 until such a time.
This move makes Hawaii the first state to frontload a presidential nomination contest for 2012. And it is funny: Arkansas and Hawaii, for all intents and purposes, switched places on the calendar. Arkansas moved from February to May and Hawaii's GOP shifted from May to February.
NOTE: 2012 Primary Calendar update coming later in the day.
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