One Mid-Atlantic primary's loss may be another Mid-Atlantic primary's gain.
A few weeks ago, FHQ cited stories in both the Washington Examiner and from the AP that highlighted the discussions between Democratic officials in Maryland, Washington DC and Delaware concerning coordinated 2012 primaries. Two thirds of the so-called Mid-Atlantic primary are in place as both Maryland and DC are on the verge of officially moving to an April 3 date. Delaware, however, has yet to make any move on the state legislative level. But the Delaware Democratic Party has given the first indication that the plans for a three state primary were perhaps a bit premature.
Instead of an April 3 primary, though, Delaware Democrats, according to their 2012 delegate selection plan, have chosen April 24 for the date on which the First state's presidential primary will be held. Now, a couple of notes are in order. First of all, April 24 is the date of the Pennsylvania primary; a Delaware neighbor. That would create a second April Mid-Atlantic primary, three weeks after the first. Second, no legislation has been introduced in the state legislature to move the primary in Delaware -- to either date. State party Democrats will have the final say in what happens -- adopt the state-funded primary whenever it is scheduled or hold a party-funded primary or caucus on a date of the party's choosing -- but the former will only happen if the Democratic-controlled legislature moves the date to the party's preferred date. Given the partisan overlap, that is likely but not a certainty.
Until the legislature acts, the Delaware primary will remain on February 7 on our 2012 presidential primary calendar. Though the delegate selection plan is a hint at what is going on in the state, it is not indicative of the date-setting decision-making authority there. The legislature in Delaware will wrap up its legislature session in June.
Hat tip to The Green Papers for the news.