OTHER VOICES

Avoid pushing Iowa caucuses into December

Posted Oct. 13, 2011, at 5:42 p.m.

Iowa should do whatever it can to avoid moving the date for its presidential caucuses into December.

The decision (in violation of national party rules) by Florida to move its primary up to Jan. 31 set in motion decisions by several other states. South Carolina moved its primary up to Jan. 21 and Nevada Republicans said their caucuses will be held on Jan. 14.

Iowa and New Hampshire will hold on to their number one and two positions in the nomination process, respectively, but they haven’t set dates. State law requires New Hampshire to hold its primary at least seven days before the next contest, which means Jan. 7 at the latest.

New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner recently told Politico he will make no decision on a date for his state’s primary until at least Oct. 17.

State Republican Party Chairman Matt Strawn should pick up the phone, call Gardner and seek to work out an agreement under which the two states both can hold their contests the first week in January. … We understand the separation between the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary would be shorter than is traditional, but the two states would remain one and two.

And Iowa wouldn’t be pushed into December.

Since the national Republican Party created this game of musical chairs by not enforcing its caucus and primary calendar rules, it isn’t going to be of any help in determining these last two dates.

Together, Iowa and New Hampshire must do it themselves.

Sioux City (Iowa) Journal (Oct. 12)

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