Nevada Republicans have decided to move up their presidential caucuses to stay ahead of Florida’s newly scheduled Jan. 31 primary, a move that will cost the state party half of its delegates to the GOP’s national convention.
Executive board members voted Saturday night in a special telephone conference meeting to hold the caucuses sometime in January instead of February, saying it was worth the price to have more influence on the nomination as an early voting state.
Nevada GOP national Committeewoman Heidi Smith said Sunday that she was the lone dissenter in the vote to move up the caucuses from Feb. 18, when they had tentatively been scheduled. She noted Nevada still would have been the first state in the West to vote by sticking to a February date.
“We still would have maintained our influence in the nominating process and attracted the presidential candidates,” Smith said. “I thought it would be best to keep our full contingent of convention delegates.”
But other board members thought it was more important to have the nation’s third presidential vote after Iowa and New Hampshire than to retain the state’s full slate of 28 national delegates.
“The likelihood of it (nomination) coming down to the convention is really remote,” said David Gallagher, the state party’s executive director. “The bottom line is we’ll have more influence by holding our caucuses after Iowa and New Hampshire.”
Sunday, October 2, 2011
AP reports on one reaction to the Florida primary move: