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12 May 2010

GOP Follows Dem Lead, Recommends 2012 Primary Season Start In March

Following the lead of the Democratic Change Commission, the Republicans' Temporary Delegate Selection Committee recommended Tuesday that no state hold their presidential nominating contest prior to the first Tuesday in March, 2012 [Smith, Ben (2010-5-11).  Early states prevailPolitico.  Retrieved on 2010-5-12.].

Nineteen states (including Georgia), according to research done by Josh Putnam at Frontloading HQ, would have to move their primaries or caucuses back to the first Tuesday in March or face sanctions by the Democratic and Republican national committees. 

The small states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina --four states whose combined electoral votes are less than 5% of the total electoral college-- continue to maintain their preferential status.  Except that their presidential nominating contests must not be held any earlier than February 1, 2012.

The recommendations of both the Democratic Change Commission and the RNC Temporary Delegate Selection Committee still have to be approved by each respective national party committee.  Expect a slew of legislation from states moving their primary or caucus back after the DNC and RNC signs off on the new calendar.

Looking ahead, the Democratic and Republican national committees are finalizing the delegate selection rules for 2012.  Once those rules are adopted later this summer,  they will be forwarded to the states for use in formulating their delegate selection plans.  The states will then adopt their delegate selection plans in the summer of 2011.