South Carolina has officially decided on a primary date, which should as a result put the rest of the primary calendar in line.
Today, the South Carolina Republican Party has announced plans to host their primary on January 21st, 2012, violating the earlier rule for setting a date prior to March 1st. South Carolina’s jump will keep it officially ahead of Florida, who also violated the RNC rules by moving their primary to January 31st. This new South Carolina date will keep the state’s status as the first primary in the south intact.
With South Carolina moving up, the new calendar is beginning to fall into shape. Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada will still attempt to hold their contests first, and in that order, with New Hampshire pledging to host their primary after Iowa’s initial caucus. Nevada has tied their date to the Saturday following New Hampshire, however, that violates a New Hampshire law stating that it will not hold their primary within seven days of a following contest.
Although the dates have not yet been formally announced, so far the first five contests look to be:
Iowa – January 3rd
New Hampshire – January 10th
Nevada – January 17th (if they use the 7 day rule)
South Carolina: January 21st
Florida: January 31st
Photo credit: Jonathan McIntosh