Fla. Primary Set For January 31

MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – The state of Florida has moved its 2012 presidential primary to January 31.

The date was made official late Friday morning.

Now, it’s expected that a domino effect of states rushing to get in front of Florida on the primary calendar will take place.

But, Florida’s move will run the risk of losing half of their delegates at the 2012 Republican National Committee.

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.

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.

Now that Florida’s primary is set, there will be a stampede between Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina to get to the front of the line.

Iowa was not at all happy with Florida’s decision.

“The arrogance shown by Florida’s elected leadership is disappointing, but not surprising,” Iowa GOP chairman Matt Strawn told Politico.com. “Equally troubling is to see this petulant behavior rewarded with our national convention.”

Strawn continued, “The consequences of Florida’s intransigence must be swift and severe, including the refusal by the RNC to credential or seat any member of Florida’s presidential primary date commission at the 2012 RNC convention in Tampa.”

South Carolina GOP chairman Chad Connelly also slammed Florida’s decision in a statement published by Politico.

“Today’s decision by Florida is hugely disappointing and could have been avoided. Rogue states have once again dictated the Presidential nominating calendar. I call on my fellow RNC members and all Republicans to strongly condemn Florida’s decision to hold their primary on January 31,” Connelly said.

South Carolina has said that it will consider moving its primary to a date before Florida, possibly on January 28. That could push the Iowa GOP caucuses to January 9; the New Hampshire primaries on January 17; and the Nevada caucuses on January 21.
  • bflat879

    I can’t believe how ignorant and not well thought out this plan is. If the purpose is to get the best candidate, why do you want to be first, or at the beginning? The purpose is to be one who will make the decision and the best way to make a decision is to draw this out so we know as much as possible about the candidates. If Florida really wants to do a good job, they’d have delayed their primary so they could be the first big state, but some smaller ones got to sort through the mush first. We don’t want to end up with another John McCain this time around.

    The smart move would have been to join with a couple of states, like Texas and Georgia and have a primary in late March with a lot of votes at stake to decide things. Alas, Florida wants to stick out, like a sore thumb in my opinion, and it’s foolish.

    • chris h.

      How many people really think Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada have their fingers on the pulse of American policital ideas? To consistently force candidates to focus on these states in the early stage of every election cycle makes no sense. By the time the more populated states have candidates paying them attention, its too late as several of them have already dropped out of the race. The results are that no “common sense party,” or moderate candidates remain in the race. Choices are then frequently between extremists (from the right, or left) and fringe candidates with no real force of character, or chance of winning. In the end, do we care about what’s best for the country, or what’s best for a few small states? I think Florida, Texas, California, and New York should all band together and set their dates first, or on the same days as the wee four. Let those with a majority of the population have an opportunity to have their voices heard, too.


    Who do we put up with Iowa, NH, Nevada, and SC always being at the front of the line? They remind me of 4 year old children who always want to be at the head of the line. Why can’t the parties include in their platforms that primary dates will be rotated over the years with groupings that include all regions of the country (northeast, Atlantic seaboard, southeast, midwest, plains, mountain states, northwest, southwest, and Pacific seaboard). The states would then be rotated within their groupings. Over five presidential elections, each state would then have a chance to be first or early in the process. This is a fair and reasonable method of having primaries; not the childish behavior of Iowa, NH, Nevada, and South Carolina every four years.

    • Susan

      I say let CALIFORNIA JOIN THE PARTY, too!

    • UCS

      Why do we allow ANY small group of states to be the ones to choose for the whole country?

      The whole purpose in the structure of our government is that each locality has it’s own issues and needs. Why should we allow some far off state with completely different priorities dictate our candidates? If we’re going to adhere to this ridiculous concept of primaries, we at least should have them in all states simultaneously.

    • noname

      how is following the rules childish? please think before you speak

      • yourmom

        Hey genius, he said the rules in place were what made them childish. Please think, then don’t speak.

    • Just a Thought

      How about this: the state with the highest percentage of registered voter turnout at the previous election gets to hold their primary first.

  • deerjerkydave

    It gets to be expensive to campaign in so many states so early in the primary, especially a big state like Florida. A better idea is to rotate through certain states every four years.

  • John C. Pachkoski

    Why should Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina be the ones to decide who will be nominated for President? Florida has a bigger population and more electoral votes, and more people are moving here, all the time, due to the nice weather and sunshine. Why can’t they all have their primaries the same day and stop arguing about it? Everyone knows, in the November general election, that the states which have the most electoral votes, and therefore, contribute most, when deciding who will be President, are Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, and California (but, California usually ends up voting Democrat), and the other aforementioned states offset it (when a Republican is elected President).

    • http://southernconservativemusician.wordpress.com SouthernConservativeMusician

      Having lived in Florida most of my life, this is the EXACT position that Most FLoridians hold about the primary process. Mosre times than one I have had a candidate that I felt would be the best, only to have these 4 states eliminate them before I got the chance to cast my support. There has to be a better way and the people of Florida are trying to prove that point.

  • WasabiPeanut

    Can someone explain to me why all states dont have primaries on the same day, like they do they actual election, this way there are no “chosen” states who often choose the nominee before some other states even get a chance to vote.

    • Brillo

      It’s all about the campaign schedule. Candidates can’t be in 50 states at once, so they try to rotate the schedule. If things were as originally intended, the importance of voting for Governor of your state would be equal to or trump the importance of the Presidential nomination. The office of the President is bloated with power and importance that it does not deserve.

    • Shauna

      The reason is that a gradual primary process allows lesser known and less wealthy candidates a chance at the presidency. If we held a national primary, candidates would have to have the resources and be well connected enough to campaign in 50 states instead of a few smaller states. In the current system, each candidate has a chance to make themselves heard and win based on platform, not money.

    • J

      Bravo Bravo…my thoughts exactly. I’m in Florida and although usually all or at least most of the candidates are still in the race when they come here, other larger states are left with maybe 2 or 3 candidates they have to settle for because the one they like is already out. I believe Guiliani in the last election is a good example. Huge states like New York and California have little impact on the selection of the candidate which translates into most of the population in the country have to settle for what the early states decide.

  • Ken

    This is a direct result of the Democrats’ failure to punish such behavior in 2008. rather than looking around for “solutions.” The solution is to make people follow the rules.

    Had Florida been punished according to the rules, then today Florida and other states wouldn’t be looking around saying “We can get away with it.”

    • Jay

      Why punish a state for wanting their voice to be heard? There are twice as many people living in New York CITY than there is in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada combined. Why should their voice be weighed more heavily?

  • BB98

    time for a national primary. let everyone decide at once rather than have a few states decide who the rest will vote for.

  • whodat1

    Here’s an idea, why don’t we hold ALL the states primary election on the same day???

  • B

    The entire concept of giving special rights to any state is absurd.

    Why would the RNC or the DNC or anyone choose to ignore the right for any state to choose next president ?

    It would make sense to say that no state should choose a date prior to Feb 1 and that all states should choose a Tuesday. But in the end, the only date “set in stone” is the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

  • gsoko

    Put all the primaries on some day.

  • Andy Hunter

    The reason we have primaries schedules and electors is so the small states aren’t left out of the process. Florida jumped the gun…

  • blancojoe

    I am o.k. with it, for I feel Florida is better connected to what the rest of us Conservatives want in a candidate. Iowa is a little too homegrown and New Hampshire is way too Liberal. Florida choose Herman Cain in the straw pole. How cool and down to earth is that? Meanwhile, Ron Paul Perot has now declared that Al-Walaki was “assassinated” instead of subpoenaed down to municipal court for a proper dressing down. Florida can put Ron Paul Perot away with this type of deranged reasoning on the part of the good doctor.

  • SamB

    Stupid FLA Repubs.
    Moving the primary up and influencing an early outcome, give the DNC more time to focus the Dirt on the correct Repub.
    The early primaries run the risk of losing the General Eleciton.
    Oh Well.
    Like I care.
    I’m voting for Ron Paul as an Independent regardless.
    Nver voting for another lyin’ fake repub sack-o-stuff like Geo Bush again.
    Dems are lost.

    • JIM


  • David B

    This is all about the Republican ruling elite getting a RINO candidate. Nothing more nothing less…..The Republican elite are as scared of the Tea Party as the dems! We need a conservative candidate for 2012! Vote out dems and ruling class elite Republicans!

    • Brillo

      Hear! Hear!

  • Sailordude

    I’m kind of tired of Iowa, that is one lily white state and I doubt many of those white people know anyone but white people. PS I’m white but I’m in the real America, Iowa nominates these losers time and again. Herman Cain isn’t even in double digits there and he’s the real deal, so Iowa, take a hike!

  • Ron T

    I believe that all Primaries should only be be held in June and July! Right now the individual selected to represent a party is chosen in the first 3 months of the year.Other states are basically left out of the process. This is way too soon!

  • Lawrence Pfeffer

    NEW SYSTEM: Split the country into 4 regions (NE, S, SW & W), then rotate the primaries as one different state from each region then back to the first region…. keep going until all 50 states are done.

    Then each election cycle, simply pick a different region to start things off. Done. Fair, balanced, no one complains.

  • DJK

    This whole thing misses the real reason they want to be one of the first to vote. Maybe they are tired of only having one candidate to vote for because all the rest of the field has dropped out after being passed over by a couple of one issue voters in a couple of tiny insignificant states like New Hampshire and Iowa, etc. My state votes in May and the national media and political party operatives will have already decided who will be the nominee by the time I get to vote. It’s been like this for years. Giuliani, Thompson, et al. weren’t even on my ballot the last time because the genius’ in New Hampshire, Iowa, North Carolina, etc. decided that they were going with the media’s pick of McCain. If the parties want to fix this, they would require all the ballots in all the states to list all the candidates names, regardless of thier media status, and then pick the winner at the convention without all the dirty deals they do now. This nonsense would stop if they did that.

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