Iowa Republicans are beginning to get a little itchy that Iowa's first-in-the-nation caucuses, scheduled for Feb. 8, are not first on the calendar, at least on the GOP side. Michigan Republicans will elect their 77 national convention delegates Jan. 29-30. And to make matters worse, Hawaii's GOP has scheduled precinct caucuses and a nonbinding presidential preference poll for Jan. 27. Iowa state GOP chairman Michael Mahaffey said that on Saturday he will ask the state central committee to decide whether to move up the caucus date to preserve Iowa's status.

Iowa Democratic spokesman Phil Roeder said the Democrats have no plans to change the date. And, while the Republicans do not have to hold their caucuses on the same night as the Democrats, Mahaffey conceded the date probably will not be changed if the Democrats stick with Feb. 8.

"Clearly, our hope would be that we could leave it alone," said GOP cochairman David Oman. "Nevertheless, it's our duty to look at changing events and to use our best judgment to respond to them." Oman added, "I would certainly characterize the odds of us moving the date at less than 50-50."