Game change: Florida wants to be among the first GOP primaries

At issue is the early date of Florida’s presidential primary election, currently set for Jan. 31, 2012. As of right now, it’s the first primary scheduled.

That’s in blatant violation of Republican and Democratic National Committee rules, which say only four states — Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada – can hold primary elections before the beginning of March…

Florida’s Republican legislative leaders aren’t the only ones foursquare behind the early primary. Their claim is supported by one of the GOP’s top rising stars, Sen. Marco Rubio — an oft-mentioned prospect for the vice presidential nomination in 2012…

“We’re not trying to be first. I like the idea of Iowa and New Hampshire,” one prominent Florida Republican said. “This is not a hostage situation. This is a negotiation.”