Monday, February 7, 2011

2012 Presidential Primary Movement: The Week in Review (Jan. 31-Feb. 6)

Another week came and went and while no states officially moved, there were a couple that actually passed bills shifting the dates on which their nominating contests will be held.
  • Pass it on: Virginia's Senate passed SB 1246 to move the state's presidential primary from the second week in February to the first Tuesday in March. Idaho's House also passed HB 60 to move the primary election up a week to the third Tuesday in May.
  • You're out: The Kansas House bill (HB 2126) to cancel the Sunflower state's presidential primary was referred to committee on January 31.
  • Out the window: This one has flown under the radar, but the Kentucky House voted in January to move all its primaries from May to August. Yeah, it's more problematic than it sounds.
  • It's always sunny: RNC Chairman Reince Priebus got in on the act this week by urging Florida to move back the state's presidential primary and state Democratic Party Chair Rod Smith warned again about the impact the noncompliant primary could have on Democrats.
  • 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, 14 of them (California, Connecticut, Missouri, New York, Arizona, Georgia, Delaware, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, Utah and Virginia) have convened their 2011 state legislative sessions.
  • Of those 14 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.
  • For this next week the 14 early states in conflict with the national parties' rules will be joined by Oklahoma which convenes its state legislative session on February 7 (see HB 1057, HB 1614, HB 2138 and SB 808; four bills that would alter the date on which the state's presidential primary is held.). Those 15 states will be the ones to watch.

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