Iowa and New Hampshire In December? Fine With Me
by Chris Bowers, Wed Apr 04, 2007 at 11:41:43 AM EDT
- January 14th (Monday) Iowa
- January 19th (Saturday) Nevada
- January 22nd (Tuesday) New Hampshire
- January 29th (Tuesday) South Carolina (Florida? Michigan?)
- February 5th (Tuesday) National primary
However, what earlier dates could New Hampshire actually choose? A close look reveals they do not have many options. Consider the following conditions:
- New Hampshire will hold its caucus on a Tuesday. Or, at least I assume they will.
- Nevada is holding its caucus on Saturday, January 19th.
- New Hampshire will only move its primary to a point at least seven days before Nevada.
- Iowa will hold its caucus eight days before New Hampshire. Both Iowa and New Hampshire agree on this.
- Neither Iowa nor New Hampshire will hold their caucus / primary during, immediately following, or immediately preceding a major national holiday.
In short, it seems as though has only two choices: accept the current primary / caucus calendar, or move back to December 16th. To tell you truth, I think I actually prefer a calendar with an earlier Iowa and New Hampshire to our current calendar. Check it out:
- December 10th (Monday): Iowa
- December 18th (Tuesday): New Hampshire
- January 19th (Saturday): Nevada
- January 29th (Tuesday): South Carolina, Florida, Michigan
- February 5th (Tuesday) National Primary
- New Hampshire and Iowa placated. They still get to go first--in fact, they get to go a lot earlier relative to other states in the current calendar. There is no way any state moves into a window that includes the holidays.
- New Hampshire and Iowa reduced. The two "traditional" states will take place so much earlier than any other state, that whatever "momentum" candidates derive from those states will be significantly muted over five weeks later.
- Diverse groups play important, early role. Nevada, South Carolina, Florida and Michigan will effectively function as a second set of early contests to immediately precede Super Tuesday. This will allow for significant, early state voting representation for African-Americans, Latinos, union members, Jews, and ever region of the country.
- Frontloading significantly eased. In this calendar, the primary / caucus season lasts for fifty-eight days, instead of twenty-three. This will give voters more time to decide, and give candidates more time to build up a national operation. In 2004, Kerry was severely lacking in nationwide staff after his early victories, including in states like Ohio and Florida, and this deficit might have cost him the election. At the same time, the primary season was over pretty much the same day it began in 2004, but with this calendar, from the start of the campaign until Super Tuesday voters would have a lot more time to make up their minds.
- Almost everyone gets a voice: The national primary on February 5th will give more people a real say in determining the nominee than at any nomination process in two decades.
- Nominee still decided early. With nine months between Super Tuesday and Election Day, there is plenty of time to rally around the eventually nominee.