2012 campaign events delayed

The national Republican Party is making an effort to push the presidential nominating season to later in the year.

The proposal by a commission of the Republican National Committee would allow Iowa and New Hampshire to keep their first-in-the-nation events—the first caucuses in Iowa and the first primary in New Hampshire—but would push the dates back to February 2012. That would be a month later than in 2008.

Only those two states, plus Nevada and South Carolina, would be permitted to hold their events in February. All other events would have to follow March 1. The Democrats must now decide whether to join the GOP effort to move events later in the year.

Over the years, the formal start of the presidential nominating events have slowly crept back to the first week of the year. In 1968, the first event—the New Hampshire primary—was on March 12.

In 2008, Nevada’s caucuses were the fifth or sixth event in the lineup, after the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 3, the Wyoming GOP caucuses on Jan. 6, the New Hampshire primary on Jan. 8, and the Michigan primary on Jan. 15. The Nevada caucuses and South Carolina Republican primary were then held the same day, Jan. 19. (The Democratic portion of the Michigan primary was invalidated because it was held earlier than allowed by party rules.)

Nevada Republicans reluctantly moved their caucuses back to coincide with the Democratic caucuses.

Meanwhile, it appears expectations that the unelected delegates (“superdelegates”) would be gotten rid of have come to nothing. The superdelegates caused havoc in the 2008 Democratic presidential campaign, delaying the final resolution of the race between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

According to one source, “All the people empowered to eliminate the superdelegates are superdelegates.” A party “change commission” in December recommended retaining the delegates and binding them to vote with their state caucus or primary results.