Iowa GOP chair reacts to FL move to 1.31.12

CNN is reporting Florida officials intend to hold that state’s primary on January 31, 2012.  I just talked with Iowa GOP chairman Matt Strawn about this latest development.

Henderson: “Is this fruit basket upset now?”

Strawn: “We’ll wait to see what Florida ultimately does on Friday, but the one thing that Iowans need to know is that we will be first.  The only open question is the date on which we hold our first-in-the-nation caucuses and, ironically,  in attempting to assert increased relevance in the process, Florida’s move only elevates the importance of Iowa and the other early states because a compressed calendar makes doing well in Iowa a necessity for a Republican candidate who wants to secure the nomination, so I hope we don’t have to move up to the beginning of the year. If we do, we will, but this also just elevates the importance of doing well in Iowa for the Republican candidates.”

Henderson: “Is it out of the realm of possibility that the Iowa Caucuses might be held in 2011?”

Strawn: “I hope we can avoid that scenario.  I don’t think any candidate nor Iowan wants to caucus before the holiday season, so I’m still cautiously optimistic we can avoid that, but we are going to do what’s necessary to make sure that Iowa retains that first-in-the-nation status.”

Henderson“re you constantly texting, phoning the people in New Hampshire? What is the alliance here and how is it working these days?”

Strawn: “I have been in close contact with my colleagues in all four of the early states which the RNC exempted from the rules and we’re all going to do what’s necessary to maintain the integrity of the RNC rules that were passed by 2/3rds of the RNC that say it should be Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina and we’re monitoring the situation in Florida very closely, working with the RNC, and really trying to avoid that compressed schedule that both the candidates, the majority of the RNC and, really, most voters don’t favor.”

UPDATE: Here’s the Radio Iowa story on this development, with background on party rules, etc.

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About O.Kay Henderson

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


  1. […] IA GOP chair says will move primary if necessary. Adds FL move "makes doing well in Iowa a necessity for a Republican candidate." […]