Saturday, February 7, 2015

Connecticut Republicans Strategize About Opening Primaries, Moving Presidential Primary Up

Neil Vigdor has the story at the Connecticut Post about Nutmeg state Republicans' short-term (move the presidential primary)/long-term (open primaries to independents/unaffiliateds) plans.

In Democratic-controlled Connecticut, the state GOP will need some help from across the aisle in the state legislature to make either happen.

A couple of quickie clarifications on this one:
  1. "Until 2008, both parties in Connecticut held their primaries on Super Tuesday, which fell in early February and drew visits from then-U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and future first lady Michelle Obama."

      Connecticut did not join Super Tuesday -- typically the earliest date the national parties allow contests to be held -- until 1996. And then, the primary was on the first Tuesday in March. It stayed there until the 2008 cycle, when the primary was moved to the first Tuesday in February. 2004 was a bit quirky too. Democrats caught up with an RNC that was already allowing February contests, but few states actually moved for 2004. Connecticut, like many states, waited until 2008 to react to that change.

  2. "In 2011, looking to create a regional primary with New York, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Delaware, the General Assembly ended the tie-in with Super Tuesday. But the inability of the states to get on the same page for setting a date for the proceedings relegated the regional primary to April 24. By that point in 2012, Mitt Romney had all but wrapped up the GOP's nomination."

    1. This sequence is strange. New York, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Delaware created a regional primary on April 24 for the 2012 cycle, but could not get on the "same page" to do it? FHQ would argue that four Democratic-controlled states opted to join perpetually-April Pennsylvania on that late April date, and they did it on purpose. Democratic states that were non-compliant under the new 2012 rules moved back much further on the calendar than Republican-controlled states. There may or may not have been ulterior motives involved. 

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