Claude Kirk and his lost hat
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Florida presidential primary will be Jan. 31, New Hampshire is not pleased

In a short meeting, the committee to pick Florida's presidential primary date overwhelmingly settled on Jan 31.  This will not make Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina happy.

The New Hampshire Union-Leader is clearly unhappy. Here's what political columnist John DiStaso had to say yesterday about Florida's move to Jan. 31.

That creates quite a mess and clearly means that the New Hampshire presidential primary, which traditionally follows only the Iowa caucuses, could well be held in early- to mid-January — a month to six weeks before previously envisioned.

The man empowered to set the New Hampshire primary date isn't talking about dates or even ranges of dates at this point.

“We'll act accordingly,” New Hampshire Secretary of State William Gardner told the Granite Status.

“The New Hampshire primary tradition will be honored and the law will be upheld,” he said. “That law says that the primary will be held seven days ahead of any similar election in another state in the year of a presidential election, or the previous year.”

Gardner also pointed out that the law requires him to set the date in a manner that “protects the tradition of the New Hampshire first-in-the-nation presidential primary.”


The Florida move will have a major impact on presidential campaign strategies, on national media coverage plans, even on certain businesses, such as hotels, in the Granite State.

No one, not even Gardner, knows at this point specifically when the primary will be held. There are several other states in play, as well.

But one thing is certain. It will be the first primary in the nation and it will be held seven days ahead of what Gardner deems to be any similar election.


Yup. As Crowley Political Report has noted previously, the New Hampshire primary is less about selecting the next president than it is about political tourism. This is a huge industry for state and lord knows CPR spent a decent chunk of dough in Iowa and New Hamshire covering presidential politicals since 1980.

By the way, fellow political fans - can you name the two Florida governors who spent time in Iowa and New Hampshire running for president?


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