Parties Push Back Primary Calendar for 2012 Presidential Election

Dec 20, 2010 - LegalZoom News Sources
Parties Push Back Primary Calendar for 2012 Presidential Election

Leaders for both major political parties are hoping to push back the beginning of primary season for the 2012 presidential election, reports Politico.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 34 states held presidential primaries or caucuses on or before Febuary 5 during the 2008 election cycle thanks to local committees jockeying for influence by holding contests early.

The new proposed calendar aims to avoid a front-loaded calendar, thus reducing the length of the campaign and allowing them to save money, resources and political capital.

Under the terms, which were developed jointly in an unprecedented collaboration between the Democratic and Republican planning committees, four states - Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada - will be allowed to hold their primaries in February.

States that choose to hold their primaries and caucuses in March must allocate their delegates to party conventions proportionally. Mandatory proportional allocation is seen as a deterrent for states hoping to gain influence, as it prevents any one candidate from using the state to pull out to a big lead over his or her competitors.

Conversely, those states that choose to wait until April may allocate their delegates using a winner-take-all system, allowing states to have a bigger impact in exchange for waiting until later to hold their primaries.