New Hampshire schedules primary, ending tense maneuvering
November 2nd, 2011
11:44 AM ET

New Hampshire schedules primary, ending tense maneuvering

New Hampshire will hold the nation's first presidential primary next year, on January 10, New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Garner announced Wednesday.

The move ends week of tense maneuvering and negotiations with leaders in other states to ensure New Hampshire complied with state law, which says its primary must be the nation's first in an election cycle, and that there must be seven days between its primary and similar contests such as a caucus.

Iowa's caucus date on January 3, and the Nevada GOP's intention to have its caucuses on January 14, had New Hampshire considering putting its primary in December. But Nevada Republicans bowed to pressure and set their new caucus date for February 4.

New Hampshire's January 10 primary will be a week after the Iowa caucus and 11 days before South Carolina's primary on January 21.

The new primary date is more than a month earlier than New Hampshire's original date in mid-February. The primary calendar was thrown into flux when Florida moved its contest to January 31.

Florida moves up primary, against national GOP's wishes
September 30th, 2011
02:44 PM ET

Florida moves up primary, against national GOP's wishes

A panel of Florida legislators bucked national Republican Party rules Friday and approved a motion to hold the state's presidential primary on January 31.

The move, crafted to ensure that Florida goes fifth in the nominating process, is certain to scramble the presidential primary calendar and push the first contest of the GOP nomination fight into the early days of January.

Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina - the only four states allowed to vote before March 6 under Republican National Committee rules - have collectively vowed to move the dates of their caucuses and primaries ahead of Florida to protect their early voting status.

If those first four states move to the front of line as expected, the campaign for the GOP nomination will officially begin a full month earlier than expected, leaving candidates and potential candidates like Sarah Palin and Chris Christie even less time to make their cases to voters.

Already, in response to Florida's move, New Hampshire has moved up the date by which presidential candidates must file an intent to compete. That deadline is now October 28, meaning potential candidates such as Christie and Palin have less than a month to decide whether to compete in the Granite State primary.