Entries in Early States (1)


Florida House Speaker Vows to Keep Early Primary Date in 2012 Election

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In an interview with CNN, Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon, a Republican, said “he sees little chance that his state will move its 2012 presidential primary date to later in the year to comply with rules approved by the two national political parties.”

Florida’s primary is currently scheduled for Jan. 31. Iowa’s "first in the nation" caucus is scheduled for Feb. 6, with New Hampshire holding its primary eight days later on Feb. 14. If Florida decided to keep its primary on Jan. 31 or even any time in February, it’s more than likely that both Iowa and New Hampshire -- as well as the other sanctioned “early states” of Nevada and South Carolina -- would feel compelled to move up the dates of their primaries/caucuses to keep their coveted status as lead-off states in the nomination process.

In Florida, the legislature has the power to set (or reset) the date of the state primary. According to Republican National Committee (RNC) rules, any state that holds its primary earlier than March 1 loses at least half of its delegates. But, says Cannon and other Florida legislative leaders, it’s a price worth paying for having a significant role in helping select the next Republican nominee.

Earlier this month, one Florida Republican insider told ABC News that there was “not a lot of interest” by Republican legislators in “playing by the rules.”

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus recently travelled to Florida to urge the state to pick a later primary date. Governor Rick Scott (R) has not yet taken a position on the issue.

The legislature is expected to take up this issue in March or April.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 

ABC News Radio