Nevada’s Republican Party has set its presidential caucuses for Jan. 14 — a move that could increase the chances of the 2012 nominating contest beginning in 2011.
“By establishing this date, we maintain Nevada’s standing as one of the first four ‘carve-out’ states and as the very first in the west,”state GOP Chairwoman Amy Tarkanian said in a statement announcing the Jan. 14 date.
But by doing so, the party may also be forcing the hand of two other “carve out” states.
New Hampshire law states that its first-in-the-nation primary must be held at least seven days before every state but Iowa, while Iowa’s state law says its first-in-the-nation caucuses must be held eight days before any other contest.
If Nevada sticks with Jan. 14, and those two states follow the letter of the law, Iowa would have to hold its caucuses in December, while New Hampshire, which typically holds its primary on a Tuesday, would go no later than Jan. 3.
Those laws haven’t always proven an impediment though; in 2008, Iowa held its caucuses just five days before New Hampshire.
Nevada’s caucuses will be followed by South Carolina’s primary on Jan. 21.