2012 calendar gets clearer; South Carolina picks Jan. 21
South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Chad Connelly announced Monday that his state will hold its first-in-the-south primary on Jan. 21, 2012. The date is 10 days before the rogue Florida primary on Jan. 31.
“Last Friday a nine-person committee brought chaos to the 2012 nominating calendar. Today, South Carolina restores order,” Connelly said as part of a press conference announcing the date.
With the announcement, South Carolina joins Florida and Nevada as states that could be subject to reduced delegate representation at the Republican National Convention for violating calendar rules set in place by the national group. All three states believe that headlining the nominating calendar is more important than losing delegates to the national convention.
Iowa and New Hampshire are states that have yet to announce their intentions, other than to emphatically state that they will once again lead the nomination process. While the announcement by South Carolina compresses the time frame available to the two lead-off states, don’t look for any specific announcements today or in the next few weeks. Iowa won’t announce until after New Hampshire, and New Hampshire isn’t going to budge until it knows the exact date of the Nevada caucuses.
Look for Nevada officials to name their caucus date on or around Oct. 22, and to uncouple themselves from their four-day window with the New Hampshire primary (which is a violation of the Granite State’s law that there will be a seven-day window between its primary and any other contest).
In addition to the primary announcement, South Carolina officials said that it will co-host a debate alongside Fox News in the lead-up to its contest.
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