Presidential campaign delayed

The political parties are pushing back the start of the presidential campaign.

Traditionally, Iowa holds the first presidential caucuses, and New Hampshire holds the first presidential primary. In order to retain their first-in-the-nation status, they have been moving to earlier and earlier dates. In 1952, when Sen. Estes Kefauver defeated President Harry Truman in the New Hampshire Democratic primary (Truman withdrew from the race a few days later), the primary date was March 11. By 2008, when Hillary Clinton and John McCain won the state, the primary had migrated to Jan. 8.

In rules for 2012, the Democratic and Republican national committees appear to be heading to joint action that would prohibit any state from acting before Feb. 1. During the first month, only Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina would be permitted to hold their events. All others would have to wait until March or afterward.