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Report: Fla. Primary To Be Held January 31, 2012

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CBSMiami.com) – The Florida Legislature is expected to move the state’s presidential primary to the end of January in a move that would violate Republican National Committee rules.

Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon told CNN that the most likely date for the 2012 presidential primary will be January 31.

Current RNC rules forbid states other than Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina from holding a primary before March 6.

According to the rules, states that violate that date can lose half of their delegates to the Republican National Convention.

If Florida moves to January, then even the early states will have to shift their primary dates up. According to CNN, Florida’s move would trigger a wave of primary shifting that would completely rewrite the primary season.

The Florida Legislature pulled a similar stunt in 2008 in the quest to be fifth, which ended up with Democrats nearly disallowing Florida nominators due to the violation of rules.

Part of the reason the primaries aren’t held earlier is to allow campaigning over the holiday to stop. But, as each state vies to be the fifth state to hold the primary, candidates will be spending a lot more time away from home, even during the holidays.

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