It’s official — sort of.The Iowa Caucuses have been scheduled for January 3rd, Iowa GOP Chairman Matt Strawn announced Monday night.
That will remain the date as long as New Hampshire doesn’t move its primary into 2011, as it has threatened to do if Nevada doesn’t move its caucus back.
Nevada moved its primary to January 14th, from March, in the hopes of playing a more central role in the race for the Republican nomination. Several GOP candidates — most notably Jon Huntsman – have pledged to boycott the Nevada Caucuses unless it is moved.
Here is the release from the Iowa GOP:
Iowa GOP Chair Strawn: First in the Nation Iowa Caucuses Set for January 3
Des Moines – Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Matt Strawn tonight made the following statement after the Party’s State Central Committee approved a motion to hold Iowa’s First in the Nation Precinct Caucuses on Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. (Iowa time).
“On behalf of over 600,000 Iowa Republicans, I’m excited to announce the first step Iowans will have to replace Barack Obama and his failed presidency will be next January 3 at our First in the Nation Iowa Caucuses,” said Strawn. “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.”
Iowa’s precinct caucuses, which occur at over 1,700 precinct locations across the Hawkeye state, are best-known for the presidential preference poll that occurs along with traditional party organising activities such as the election of precinct committeemen and platform discussions.
Strawn noted that the decision to hold the precinct caucuses on January 3 mirrored the decision made by Iowa Republican and Democrat officials during the 2008 presidential cycle when Iowa held the First in the Nation Caucuses on January 3 and New Hampshire held the First in the Nation Primary on January 8, 2008.
Strawn noted this process is best served with Iowa and New Hampshire continuing in lead-off roles as the First in the Nation Caucus and First in the Nation Primary, respectively. He said, “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 also expressed solidarity with his counterparts in New Hampshire, “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. The actions of early state newcomer Nevada have also exacerbated this problem and unnecessarily crowded the January calendar. Time remains for Nevada to respect the process, honour tradition and rectify the problem in a way that will restore order to the nomination calendar.
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