The Iowa Caucuses have been scheduled for Jan 3, the state’s Republican Party announced yesterday, a move that fills out the early nominating contest calendar, and leaves New Hampshire as the only state that has yet to decide on a date.
“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,” said Matt Strawn the state’s primary chairman in a Monday statement.
This cycle the calendar has been an uncertain jumble of states looking to move their dates up to be more relevant to the party’s nominating cycle and the jockeying for position has led to threats of boycotts.
Nevada has set its caucuses for Jan. 14, a move that came after Florida moved up its contest to Jan 31 and that threatens New Hampshire’s first in the nation primary.
A slew of candidates have opted out of participating in the Nevada contest, including Jon M. Huntsman, Jr and Herman Cain, if the state insists on the earlier caucus date.
Simarly, Strawn expressed solidary with New Hampshire, which must set it’s contest primary one week before the state that’s next in line for a contest, and the Granite State traditionally holds it’s primary on a Tuesday.
Bill Gardner, New Hampshire’s Secretary of State, said he is considering moving the primary into 2011, to early December.
Strawn said he would work to preserve Iowa’s and New Hampshire’s special status in the nominating contest.
“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 said. “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.”
He also singled out Nevada, which will host a Republican debate in Las Vegas Tuesday night.
“ The actions of early state newcomer Nevada have also exacerbated this problem and unnecessarily crowded the January calendar,” Strawn said. “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.”