Entries in Presidential Primary (6)


New Hampshire Primary Date Set for January 10

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(CONCORD, N.H.) -- The first-in-the-nation primary date has officially been set.  New Hampshire's primary will take place on January 10, New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner formally announced Wednesday in a press conference at the state capitol building.

The announcement is the final piece of the GOP nominating contest puzzle. After much ado, the primary calendar has now been set, with the Iowa caucus taking place seven days before New Hampshire's primary, and South Carolina following 11 days later, on January 21. Florida's primary will take place on January 31. Nevada’s caucus is set for February 4.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


States Condemn Florida's Jan. 31 Primary Date: 'Unfortunate,' 'Hugely Disappointing'

Thomas Northcut/Comstock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- It's official. Florida's presidential primary will be Jan. 31, 2012.

By a 7-2 vote on Friday, the Florida Presidential Primary Date Selection Committee set the date of the state's presidential preference primary for Jan. 31 -- a move that is sure to scramble the rest of the calendar, pushing several other states to hold their nominating contests even earlier than planned.

The condemnations from Republican officials in some of the the so-called "carve-out" states -- Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina -- were swift.

"The arrogance shown by Florida's elected leadership is disappointing, but not surprising. Equally troubling is to see this petulant behavior rewarded with our national convention," Iowa GOP Chairman Matt Strawn said in a statement. "The consequences of Florida's intransigence must be swift and severe, including the refusal by the RNC to credential or seat any member of Florida's presidential primary date commission at the 2012 RNC convention in Tampa."

South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Chad Connelly called Florida's decision "hugely disappointing."

"Rogue states have once again dictated the Presidential nominating calendar," Connelly said.

The Sunshine State's move does not come without consequences. Any non-carve-out state that chooses to hold its nominating contest before March 6 faces the possibility of losing half its delegates at the Republican National Convention next summer, according to party rules.

In Nevada, GOP Chair Amy Tarkanian pledged to move Nevada's "first in the West" caucuses up along with the rest of the early states. Tarkanian noted that under Nevada party rules, her state's caucuses must be held four days after the New Hampshire primary.

"Florida's decision to move its primary is disappointing and, frankly, disrespectful of the other early primary states and the process as a whole," she said.

Already on Friday, New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner announced he was pushing up the date when presidential candidates must file to be on the ballot in the Granite State from Nov. 18 to Oct. 28.

And in a statement Gardner added this warning:  "We cannot rule out the possibility of conducting the primary before the end of this year."

Given's Florida's decision on Friday, here is one possible scenario for what the nominating calendar could look like:

Jan. 9 or 10 -- Iowa

Jan. 17 -- New Hampshire

Jan. 21 -- Nevada

Jan. 28 -- South Carolina

Jan. 31 -- Florida

Feb. 7 -- Missouri

Feb. 28 -- Arizona, Michigan

Mar. 6 -- Georgia, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Idaho and Wyoming caucuses.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Calendar Chaos? Florida Threatens to Move Primary Date Up -- With reports on Wednesday that Republicans in Florida are eyeing Jan. 31 as the date for their 2012 presidential primary, other early states are already making plans to leapfrog the leap-frogger.

The primary standoff has the potential to move the first primaries of the election year up a full month -- from February to January.

Fiercely protective of their own place in the presidential nominating process, Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada -- known as the “carve out states” -- would almost certainly push their dates into January in response to Florida’s move.

South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Chad Connelly plans to hold a press conference on Thursday and he told ABC News he is likely to tentatively set the date of his state’s primary in February.  However, he said that he reserves the right to hold earlier “if forced,” and it appears he will be.

“I get that other states would like to bump up,” Connelly said.  “But, in an effort to be more relevant, it’s just going to make everyone less relevant because a compressed calendar doesn’t benefit everyone.”

Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon told CNN that a nine-member commission in Florida vested with the power to pick the state’s primary was leaning toward Jan. 31.  The commission meets on Friday to set the date.

“The Republican Party of Florida is prepared to live with the decision of the committee,” Florida GOP spokesman Brian Hughes told ABC.  “We’ve always stated that Florida deserves a prominent date to reflect its importance in the national landscape.”

Responding to the reports that the commission was likely to settle on Jan. 31, Hughes said, “Speaker Cannon is in a position to know the direction the committee’s headed.  I would expect his comments to reflect that direction pretty well.”

States are required to tell the Republican National Committee by Saturday when they will hold their primaries, and any non-carve-out state that chooses to hold its nominating contest before Mar. 6 faces the possibility that the RNC will strip them of half their delegates at the party’s national convention next summer.

The current calendar, which could change drastically depending on Florida’s decision, puts the Iowa Caucuses on Feb. 6, the New Hampshire primary on Feb. 14, the Nevada Caucuses on Feb. 18 and the South Carolina primary on Feb. 28.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Florida Backs Off Early Presidential Primary Date after Threats from Other States

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(TALLAHASSEE, Fla.) -- What a difference a day makes: The Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida said Thursday night that he was open to moving back the date of the state’s Republican presidential primary after GOP leaders in two other states -- South Carolina and Iowa -- threatened earlier Thursday to lead an effort to relocate the 2012 Republican National Convention from Tampa to another city out of the state.
Florida scheduled its primary for Jan. 31, leap-frogging ahead of other early states including Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, all fiercely protective of their place in the presidential nominating process. The chairs of the Iowa and South Carolina Republican parties called on the Republican National Committee to punish the Sunshine State if Republicans there did not take steps to reschedule the primary later than the four traditional early states.

And Thursday night, Florida GOP Chairman Dave Bitner appeared willing to make a deal: “There are many reasons why Florida should have an early and significant role in selecting the Republican presidential nominee, yet I understand the Republican National Committee is looking to maintain an orderly primary calendar,” Bitner said in a statement.

Chairman Bitner added: "As chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, my primary concern is what is in the best interest of Florida and Florida Republicans. I commend our Legislature for standing up for Florida voters, by ensuring we have an early voice in the presidential primary process. Florida is one of the most economically and financially diverse states in the nation and provides the perfect litmus test for selecting the most viable Republican presidential nominee. As the largest swing state with 29 electoral votes, Florida is critically important to the 2012 presidential election.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


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 


Donald Trump: If I Run for President ‘This Country Will Be Respected Again’

Phto Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In a speech designed to introduce himself to the conservative community, multimillionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump showed he isn’t worried about offending anybody -- not the Obama administration and not even one of the conservative movement’s most popular political figures.

“I like Ron Paul, I think he's a good guy but honestly he just has zero chance of getting elected,” Trump said to a chorus of loud boos from the crowd.

Paul has become a perennially popular figure at the annual CPAC conference in Washington where Trump spoke on Thursday. Last year Paul won CPAC’s presidential straw poll.

But Trump was undeterred by the mixed reception he received at the convention.

“If I run and if I win,” he said, “this country will be respected again. I can tell you that.”

He told the crowd that he would decide by June whether or not he would enter the Republican presidential primary. Trump said the Obama administration had badly bungled almost all aspects of policy -- foreign and domestic.

“The United States has become a whipping post for the rest of the world,” he said. “The world is treating us without respect -- they are not treating us properly.”

During his speech, which was added to the CPAC agenda at the last-minute, Trump hinted that the time may be right for him to run for president, arguing that he had had at least as much experience as President Obama.

“Our current president came out of nowhere,” Trump said.

He laid out his policy viewpoints in straightforward terms: “I’m pro-life. I’m against gun control, and I will fight to end Obamacare and replace it with something that makes sense for people in business and not bankrupt the country.”

Trump added, “If I decide to run, I will not be raising taxes.” He also pledged to help America regain a competitive advantage with China and other countries that he said “are screwing us.”

He said, “I’ve always been told that a person of great accomplishment or achievement cannot become a politician or run for political office” saying that most people who fall into that category -- and he certainly seemed to be including himself -- don’t want that kind of scrutiny.

“That is the kind of person that the country needs and we need it now,” Trump said. “This country is in serious trouble."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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