Hey, who's up for holding the Iowa caucuses in December?

You know who this benefits?

The latest development came late Wednesday when Nevada Republican Chairwoman Amy Tarkanian said her state’s caucuses would be Jan. 14 instead of Feb. 18.

That would push Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses into December, barring waivers to Republican Party rules and states’ laws.

New Hampshire — one of the last pieces of the election calendar shuffle — has yet to set its date. But a New Hampshire law stipulates that the state’s primary must take place at least seven days before any similar election in any other state. And an Iowa law mandates its caucuses be held eight days before any other caucus or primary.

It’s not unprecedented, however, to bend the rules. Four years ago, Iowa held its caucuses Jan. 3, while New Hampshire’s primary was on Jan. 8.

What would compel Nevada to leap ahead to January 14 and wreak havoc with Iowa’s and New Hampshire’s schedules? Read down towards the end of this Las Vegas Review-Journal piece for the answer. According to former Gov. Robert List, Romney’s people were pushing Nevada Republicans to move up so that he’d have maximum momentum if, as expected, he ends up winning New Hampshire. The earlier the primaries are and the more compressed the schedule is, the less time there is for Perry to chip away at Romney’s lead by making the “are we seriously going to nominate this guy?” argument. Don’t forget either that Perry was endorsed by Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval a few weeks ago, so there’s at least a small chance of him pulling the upset there despite its significance as a Romney stronghold. If Nevada follows hard on New Hampshire’s heels, that becomes more difficult. And needless to say, this is poison for minor candidates like Santorum and Huntsman who need more time to gain traction. No wonder they’re furious at Nevada and pointing fingers at Romney.

Incidentally, did you ever think last year, in the flush of the big tea-party win in the House, that the presidential primary would play out this way? With exciting conservative candidates either not running or, a la Perry, struggling in the polls and the architect of RomneyCare not only racking up huge donors but actually tilting the primary schedule to his benefit? I guess that establishment GOP isn’t licked after all.

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Jazz Shaw 8:01 PM on December 06, 2022