Friday, January 21, 2011

Much Ado About Nothing in Arizona Tomorrow

At least we're starting to get a clearer picture of what's actually happening within the Arizona Republican Party now. The resolution that is set to be voted on at the party's state meeting in Phoenix tomorrow is nothing more than a call for Republican governor, Jan Brewer, to use the proclamation power the state legislature granted the governor in the 1990s to position the Grand Canyon state's presidential primary in a more advantageous (read earlier and more influential) place on the calendar relative to other states.

In other words, this resolution, if passed, is in no way binding on the frontloading/primary movement calculus in Arizona for 2012. Here's a suggestion: do nothing. The primary is already scheduled in February (on the fourth Tuesday of the month). My gut tells me that some earlier February 2008 states will actually comply with the national parties' rules and cluster on the first Tuesday in March. That leaves a calendar similar to what existed in 2004: the exempt states followed by a handful of early February states, a relative lull with a contest or two on the remaining weeks of February and then a modified but less compressed Super Tuesday during the first week in March.

That lull period would be where Arizona would be positioned if the state government did absolutely nothing. Considering those earlier states would be states that would not only lose half their delegates -- given RNC rules -- but also be subjected to proportional allocation of delegates, it is close to a sure thing that the nomination would not be wrapped up, officially or not, before that point. Arizona could have an impact by doing nothing at all.

Spare us the non-binding resolution.

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