Iowa First: Caucuses in February, 2012

“Iowa retains it’s traditional role of kicking things off, but it really goes away from anything like a national primary — a single day that really benefits the larger states and the candidates who can write one large check and run a bunch of TV ads,” Iowa GOP chairman Matt Strawn said of the Republican National Committee rules decision. 

Strawn made those remarks during a telephone interview this afternoon. 

It appears the Iowa Caucuses will be held the first Monday in February of 2012.  As you may recall, the 2008 Iowa Caucuses were held on January 3.

“I don’t think anybody relishes the thought of having caucus night just right after the holiday season and right after New Year’s,” Strawn said this afternoon. 

Read the party’s news release below.

New RNC Rules Keep Iowa First
Exemption slates Iowa caucuses February 2012

KANSAS CITY – Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Matt Strawn announced that the Republican National Committee (RNC) today adopted new rules that recognize and protect Iowa’s First-in-the-Nation presidential caucus. The vote came during the RNC’s summer meeting in Kansas City.

Under the rules adopted today, Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada may hold their delegate preference events in February 2012. Any remaining state that holds their primary or caucus in March must allocate their delegates proportionally. The new rules offer an incentive for states to wait until April, so they can award delegates in a winner-take-all system.

Strawn said, “The new rules recognize Iowa’s unique and traditional ‘First-in-the-Nation’ status in the presidential selection process. Presidential candidates have long asked for some stability in the nominating process, and the rule enacted today provides that stability. Also, this allows Iowa to hold its caucuses in February, instead of right after the holidays. That makes it easier for candidates, their volunteers, and voters.”

Strawn noted the new rule is designed to avoid the push for a so-called national primary day and encouraging candidates to travel to more states during the presidential primary process.

The Democratic National Committee is working on a similar plan, to be finalized at their meeting later this month.

Strawn and Iowa’s other two members of the RNC, Kim Lehman and Steve Scheffler, also thanked former Iowa GOP Chairman Brian Kennedy, who was a member of the temporary RNC committee charged with drafting the recently adopted rules.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.