Confessions of a Hoosier Democrat

Blogging Indiana Politics and the 2008 Presidential Race.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

DNC adds South Carolina and Nevada to early primary/caucuses

On Saturday, the DNC approved the recommended early primary/caucuses schedule for 2008. They added Nevada in between Iowa and New Hampshire and added South Carolina immediately following New Hampshire.

So the schedule for 2008 is as follows:

January 14 - Iowa Caucus
January 19 - Nevada Caucus
January 22 - New Hampshire Primary
January 29 - South Carolina Primary

The DNC also enacted "stiff" penalties for states that did not abide by this calendar by saying their delegates would not be counted at the National Convention, thus eliminating their role in the nominating procedure.

Needless to say the NH delegation was not pleased. New Hampshire state law mandates that their primary be the first in the nation and while this schedule does maintain that it certainly diminishes the importance of the New Hampshire Primary. NH Gov John Lynch said "The DNC did not give New Hampshire its primary, and it is not taking it away." The New Hampshire Secretary of State said that he sets the date for the New Hampshire Primary, not the DNC. "That's going to be based on state law, and it will be a date that honors the tradition," Democratic NH Secretary of State William Gardner said. "It appears that he's in the driver's seat taking the Democratic National Committee on a collision course with the New Hampshire tradition."

Some have said that the DNC's penalties are toothless. After all, New Hampshire isn't about delegates anyways, it's about momentum. New Hampshire sends 27 delegates to the National Convention, that's less that 1% of the over 3500 delegates available. Is New Hampshire willing to risk it? Many experts say yes and even hint at New Hampshire moving its primary to December 2007. And they say that it would be worth it for candidates to campaign there because the momentum a good showing in New Hampshire gives them is worth A LOT more than the measly 22 delegates up for grabs in the primary (there are 5 "super delegates").

Stay tuned for future developments...

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