Obviously, FHQ has already spent some space in the last day or so discussing what has turned out to be a non-binding resolution by Republicans in the Grand Canyon state. The resolution would call on Republican governor, Jan Brewer, to use her proclamation power to schedule an early presidential primary for 2012. Former governor, Janet Napolitano, used the same executive power in both 2004 and 2008 to move the state's primary to the earliest date allowed by the two parties (the first Tuesday in February). But Arizona Republicans are asking a bit more of their governor this time around (assuming the resolution passes and that seems likely). If followed, Arizona's delegation to the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa would be halved.
Brewer would be smart just to leave well enough alone and try to blame the state legislature for inaction. The state's presidential primary is already set -- according to state election law -- for the fourth Tuesday in February. Blame the lack of movement on a do-nothing legislature. The only question that would come out of this is whether the governor has the power to move the primary date back. The law granting the governor the power to move the primary date does not specify, though it implies, that the objective is to move the primary to an earlier and more advantageous date rather than a later and compliant date.
The only thing that will come out of today's vote in Phoenix is that there is some desire among Arizona Republicans to have a meaningful primary election regardless of RNC rules.
In the Granite state today, the state Republican Party is meeting in Derry to select a new chairperson, but is also holding a straw poll of the approximately 500 state party members in attendance. FHQ quipped the other day that this wasn't going to tell us much because it won't come close to approximating what will happen in the actual primary; one that is open to independents who obviously won't be at the Republican meeting today.
But here's the thing: It isn't an altogether meaningless exercise. First of all, that battle for Republican chair is one that pits an establishment candidate, Juliana Bergeron, against a Tea Party-backed choice, Jack Kimball. Who comes out on top there speaks to the direction of the state party. Secondly, with polls of the state consistently showing Mitt Romney as the leading choice among primary voters in the nation's first primary state, the odds-setting concerns how well the former Massachusetts governor will do in the straw poll.
Those two things don't necessarily jibe all that well. Romney is not a favorite of the Tea Party (and vice versa), and if they flex their muscle in the vote for New Hampshire state party chair, that doesn't necessarily bode well for his chances of a strong showing in the straw poll. Let's state that a bit differently. If Kimball wins the chair race, Romney is very likely to come in under the level of support he has had in polls of the state in the straw poll.
That's what should be looked at coming out of today anyway.
...with a mind toward the fact that independents aren't participating and will be in next year's primary.