Compared to the previous week, this last week was slow on the presidential primary movement front. That said, what do we now know?
- The only new bill to move (or cancel) a presidential primary this past week was a House companion bill to the Washington Senate bill that was proposed a week ago. At a public hearing for the Senate bill, state Republican Party chair, Luke Esser, spoke against the plan, one endorsed by Democratic governor, Christine Gregoire, and Republican secretary of state, Sam Reed.
- The real news was the roller coaster in Arizona. First, there was talk of the Arizona Republican Party possibly opting to "move" their primary to February. Of course, it is already scheduled for the fourth Tuesday in February. Then it was revealed that the resolution the party was to vote on at their meeting this weekend would only ask Governor Jan Brewer to use her proclamation power to move the primary. And then, to top it all off, what was originally reported to have been a possible unanimous vote in favor of the resolution (Resolution #12) turned into the measure failing to pass at all on Saturday. The state still has a February primary, so either the legislature will have to act or Brewer will have to use her privilege to shift the presidential primary to a later date.As has been mentioned in this space several times, there are currently 18 states with presidential primaries scheduled for February 2012. That would put those 18 states in violation of both parties' delegate selection rules for 2012.
- As has been mentioned in this space several times, there are currently 18 states with presidential primaries scheduled for February 2012. That would put those 18 states in violation of both parties' delegate selection rules for 2012.
- Of those 18 primary states, 13 of them (California, Connecticut, Missouri, New York, Arizona, Georgia, Delaware, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey and Virginia) have convened their 2011 state legislative sessions.
- Of those 13 states, 3 (California, New Jersey and Virginia) have bills that have been introduced and are active within the state legislature to move their contests' dates. Both California and New Jersey have bills that would eliminate an early and separate presidential primaries and position those events with the other primaries for state and local offices. That would mean June presidential primaries for both states if those bills pass and are signed into law.
- One additional early state from the 2008 cycle, Washington, has proposed temporarily (for the 2012 cycle) canceling the state's presidential primary. That primary is currently scheduled for the fourth Tuesday in May according to the law. However, that same law allows the secretary of state to propose a different date and the state parties can propose their own alternative. If either or both propose(s) a different date a bipartisan committee (made up of party members and state government officials), by a two-thirds vote, has to approve the change.
- Utah (one of the aforementioned 18 states) convenes its legislative session this week. Oklahoma (February), Alabama (March), Florida (March) and Louisiana (April) get down to work later in the year.
- For this next week, then, the 14 early states in conflict with the national parties' rules will be the ones to watch. That includes the 13 mentioned above and Utah.