Correction: Clever though this would have seemed, the below move, if the Georgia General Assembly chooses to act on it, would actually be a violation of the both national parties' delegate selection rules. It is incorrect that a March 1 primary would violate Democratic Party rules but not the Republican rules. [There would be no difference between a March 1 primary and one on the first Tuesday in February where the primary is currently positioned. Both would be in violation of the rules.] If the parties' rules are to be followed, all non-exempt states will have to hold their contests on or after the first Tuesday in March. That's still a pretty big if at this point in time.
I will post the Democratic and Republican delegate selection rules in separate posts and give links to them a prominent position in the left sidebar under the 2012 presidential primary calendar. That way we'll all have a handy guide.
John Tures, an associate professor of political science at LaGrange College writing for the Southern Political Report today, indicates that there are several options that are being considered by state legislators for the Peach state's 2012 presidential primary. There are some gaps in the article,* but the nugget that is most interesting is that one of the options that is being considered is to move the state's primary to a Thursday. FHQ took this to mean that the Republican-controlled General Assembly would move the primary back into March, but schedule the election for the Thursday before the party-preferred Super Tuesday on March 6.
In other words, the proposal -- and there is no bill that has been introduced in either state legislative chamber to reflect this as of yet -- would position the Georgia primary on March 1. Here is an interesting quirk to that. When you combine that particular date with the aforementioned fact that Georgia's General Assembly (and the governor) are Republican-controlled, you end up with a violation of Democratic Party rules on delegate selection, but not on the Republican side. The Democratic Party rules set the opening date of the window in which delegate selection events (primaries and caucuses) can be held for the first Tuesday in March. That's March 6. The Republican Party rules are more ambiguous. Those rules don't specify a particular date. They simply say that no non-exempt state can go prior to March.
Yes, this breaks with the traditional Tuesday election day, but it also gives Georgia a leg up on other, non-exempt states. That assumes that all the other non-exempt states currently in violation of the national parties' rules on event timing change their laws to come into compliance. FHQ still thinks that is a big IF at this point, but it would carve out a little piece of unique territory for Georgia should the state government actually proceed with this plan.
*The fact that going earlier than many other states is an option implies that the state legislature would be actively moving the primary to a point on the calendar in violation of the national parties' rules on presidential delegate selection. Current state law already has the state positioned early and in violation of those rules.