Monday, October 17, 2011

Iowa Sets Its Caucus Date

Caucus Time: Iowa Republicans could have waited and waited some more to decide when to hold the 2012 Iowa Caucuses. They could have waited for Nevada to budge and move its January 14th caucuses back a few days (to make New Hampshire happy). They could have waited for New Hampshire to finally set its date, which as of right now, may or may not be January 10th. They could have waited until some other rogue state tried to jump into the "first 4" (IA, NH, NV, SC). But, no, tonight the Iowa Republican State Central Committee voted for a January 3rd date, the same date as 4 years ago.

So, now, at least we know, Iowans will have some company for the holidays. And dare we hope this WILL be the actual date? Maybe Nevada won't budge. If Republicans there want a Saturday caucus, they seem stuck with January 14th. South Carolina already picked January 21st. So, what if New Hampshire really goes off here and picks a December 6th or 13th primary date? Will Iowa move? Why should it? Perhaps, New Hampshire will only shoot itself in the foot setting its 2012 primary in 2011. The national media and campaigns could downplay the results. And could that mean Iowa will be that much MORE important?

If Mitt Romney keeps dancing around Iowa until then...let's say he wins New Hampshire, would he really want to risk a 2nd or 3rd place finish in Iowa by not really playing here when the caucuses take place about a month after New Hampshire? Wouldn't that risk taking away any momentum he gets from New Hampshire? Same with Rick Perry. If Perry can't win New Hampshire, would he want to also want to risk infrequent visits and lower results in Iowa on caucus night? That could damage him right out from the beginning. Imagine if Romney DID play in Iowa in this scenario and he won New Hampshire in December and then Iowa in January. Could he then run the table? Just something to think about.

Here's the release from Iowa GOP State Chair Matt Strawn--note the comments about those other states:

Des Moines – Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Matt Strawn tonight made the following statement after the Party’s State Central Committee approved a motion to hold Iowa’s First in the Nation Precinct Caucuses on Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. (Iowa time).

“On behalf of over 600,000 Iowa Republicans, I’m excited to announce the first step Iowans will have to replace Barack Obama and his failed presidency will be next January 3 at our First in the Nation Iowa Caucuses,” said Strawn. “A January 3 date provides certainty to the voters, to our presidential candidates, and to the thousands of statewide volunteers who make the Caucus process a reflection of the very best of our representative democracy.”

Iowa’s precinct caucuses, which occur at over 1,700 precinct locations across the Hawkeye state, are best-known for the presidential preference poll that occurs along with traditional party organizing activities such as the election of precinct committeemen and platform discussions.

Strawn noted that the decision to hold the precinct caucuses on January 3 mirrored the decision made by Iowa Republican and Democrat officials during the 2008 presidential cycle when Iowa held the First in the Nation Caucuses on January 3 and New Hampshire held the First in the Nation Primary on January 8, 2008.

Strawn noted this process is best served with Iowa and New Hampshire continuing in lead-off roles as the First in the Nation Caucus and First in the Nation Primary, respectively. He said, “At a time when more and more Americans feel disconnected from our national leaders, we need places like Iowa and New Hampshire that require those who seek to lead us, actually meet us, look us in the eye and listen to our hopes and concerns for our families and our Nation.”

Strawn also expressed solidarity with his counterparts in New Hampshire, “I will do everything in my power on the RNC to hold Florida accountable for creating this mess, but the culpability for creating a compressed January calendar does not end there. The actions of early state newcomer Nevada have also exacerbated this problem and unnecessarily crowded the January calendar. Time remains for Nevada to respect the process, honor tradition and rectify the problem in a way that will restore order to the nomination calendar.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think we blew it with the counting ability at the end of our Caucus. We fight very hard to be first in the nation yet in the eyes of the nation we appear to not be able to count. I have many friends all over the US and this is the talk among them. I would think as hard as we work to be first and with the dollars spent in our state during the Caucus we would put more of an effort in the counting. In my opinion Iowa just looks stupid and its a shame for the first time I'm embarrassed to live here!