Monday, April 13, 2015

Rhode Island Bill Would Move Presidential Primary from April to March

A bill filed on Thursday, April 9 would move the presidential primary in Rhode Island up from the fourth Tuesday in April to the fourth Tuesday in March. HB 6054 was introduced by state House minority leader, Brian C. Newberry (R-48th, New Smithfield). The move would pull Rhode Island out of the calendar position it used in 2012 with Connecticut, Delaware, New York and Pennsylvania to form a mid-Atlantic/northeastern regional primary and schedule it for 2016 alongside the Arizona primary on March 22.

This particulars behind this measure resemble in a number of ways the stalled effort by legislative Republicans in Connecticut to push an earlier primary bill through a Democratic-controlled legislature. If the regional cluster can be replicated in 2016, that means an additional number of delegates will be tacked on to an already small state's delegation to the Democratic National Convention. Republicans are hypothetically more motivated to move contests up in 2016 to participate in an active nomination race while Democrats are content to hold later contests and possibly in regional groupings that in both cases gain delegates.


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