Tuesday, March 15, 2011

2012 Presidential Primary Movement: The Week in Review (March 7-13)

We've gone from a busy week to a relatively slow week on the presidential primary movement front.
  • Pass it on: The Oklahoma Senate passed a second bill last week to move the Sooner state's presidential primary from the first Tuesday in February to the first Tuesday in March. There are now four bills (two passed by the Senate and two that originated in the House) now being considered in the state House.
  • Do Pass: In Georgia, the bill to have the state legislature cede its power to set the date on which the presidential primary is held to the secretary of state passed and received a favorable recommendation from the committee to which it had been referred in the state House.
Two state House bills in Missouri got the same. HB 503 got favorable nods from both the Elections Committee and the House Rules Committee. The substitute to HB 121 also moved out of the Elections Committee with positive marks. Both bills would shift the Show-Me state's primary to the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March.
  • Shut it down: Utah's legislature adjourned this past week and did not shift the date on which the Beehive state's presidential primary is scheduled, nor did it appropriate any funds for the primary. The latter fact is something some in Utah were more than willing to point out. [I'm just disappointed they didn't use the "walking it back" terminology to describe my follow up post.]
  • Killer crossover: Crossover day -- the day on which bills must be passed in one house and sent to the other -- came and went in Washington state on March 10 and took with it both the House and Senate bills to directly cancel the Evergreen state's 2012 presidential primary. All that is left is HB 1860 which would make the primary dependent upon the two parties using it.
  • Can you hear me now?: Several of the bills being considered in subcommittee this week. Either a Senate or House version of each of the three pairs of bills receive some scrutiny this week. In Washington, the aforementioned HB 1860 will have a public hearing on Thursday in the Senate. The public hearing in Connecticut also didn't seem to garner much attention.
  • 2012 resolutions: Though the state legislature is not in session yet, the Louisiana Republican State Central Committee met over the weekend and passed a resolution calling on the legislature to shift the state's primary back to the first Saturday after the first Tuesday in March. An April primary was also presumably considered.
  • Of those 18 primary states, 17 of them (Alabama, California, Connecticut, Missouri, New York, Arizona, Georgia, Delaware, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, Utah, Oklahoma, Florida and Virginia) have convened or completed their 2011 state legislative sessions.
  • Of those 17 states, 11 (Alabama, California, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Maryland, Missouri, Tennessee, Connecticut, Georgia, Florida and Virginia) have bills that have been introduced and are active within the state legislature to move their contests' dates back. California, Missouri 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. In the remaining states, the efforts are to simply shift the states' presidential primaries from dates in violation of the two major parties' rules to the earliest allowed date (the first Tuesday in March). There is also an active bill in Washington, DC to move the district's primary back to June.
  • The only state currently in violation of the national party rules that has yet to convene its legislative session is Louisiana, and that won't occur until next month. During this next week and into April, then, the total number of non-compliant states currently in legislative session 15 -- now that both Virginia and Utah have adjourned. Those 15 early states in conflict with the national parties' rules will be the ones to watch. But we are to a point in the cycle where there are still state legislatures yet to convene but also states that are wrapping up business and are thus unable to make changes to election laws past that point. To some extent the focus should shift to when those states adjourn and how quickly they have to act to make changes.
  • How would all of this look if all these bills happened to be passed and signed into law? States with active bills to move their primaries are listed twice, once where law has them currently and once in bold and italicized for where active legislation could move them.
Tuesday, January 31: Florida

Tuesday, February 7 (Super Tuesday): Alabama, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Minnesota caucuses, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas

Saturday, February 11: Louisiana

Tuesday, February 14: Washington (DC), Maryland, Virginia

Saturday, February 18: Nevada Republican caucuses, Nevada Democratic caucuses

Tuesday, February 21: Hawaii Republican caucuses, Wisconsin

Tuesday, February 28: Arizona, Michigan

Tuesday, March 6: Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio,Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia

Tuesday, March 13: Mississippi

Tuesday, March 20: Colorado caucuses, Illinois

Tuesday, April 3: Kansas, Maryland

Tuesday, April 24: Pennsylvania

Tuesday, May 1: Tennessee

Tuesday, May 8: Indiana, North Carolina and West Virginia

Tuesday, May 15: Idaho, Nebraska, Oregon

Tuesday, May 22: Arkansas, Kentucky and Washington

Tuesday, June 5: Alabama, California, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota

Tuesday, June 12: Missouri, Washington (DC)

Tuesday, August 7: Kentucky

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