July 10th, 2010
03:13 PM ET
4 years ago

Dems propose delaying primary season

Democrats are seeking to delay the start of the 2012 primary season.
Democrats are seeking to delay the start of the 2012 primary season.

(CNN) - With memories of a 2008 primary season that almost began before Christmas and lasted into the summer, Democratic party officials are proposing delaying the start of the 2012 presidential nominating primaries.

The Democratic National Committee's Rules and Bylaws Committee has formally suggested Iowa and New Hampshire hold their nominating contests in early February of 2012 - a month later than the first-in-the-nation New Hampshire primary and Iowa Caucuses were held in 2008.

Specifically the committee is proposing the Iowa Caucuses be held on February 6, 2012 and the New Hampshire Primary on February 14. Nominating contests in Nevada and South Carolina would then occur at the end of Febuary, before the rest of the states are permitted to hold their primaries or caucues on March 6 or later.

In 2008, the Iowa Caucuses were held on January 3 with the New Hampshire primary taking place five days later on January 8.

CNN Radio Political Notebook: CNN's Lisa Desjardins and CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser look at how both parties are trying to avoid a repeat of the weary 2012 nomination battles.

Democrats are also seeking to reign in the influence of superdelegates – party officials with a vote at the convention who are free to back any candidate they choose. The influence of superdelegates came under heavy criticism during the divisive battle between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in 2008.

The committee is proposing limiting the proportion of superdelegates at the convention to 15 percent of the total number of delegates, down from 20 percent in 2008. The committee is also suggesting super delegates make clear who they are supporting well before the convention.

In a statement Saturday, DNC Chairmain Tim Kaine called the suggestions "significant improvements.

"These new provisions represent an important step towards increasing grassroots activists' involvement in our presidential nominating process," he said. "They guarantee that Democratic primary voters and caucus participants will have a larger voice in the nomination of our Party's presidential candidate, while at the same time respecting the important role that party leaders play in our nominating and political processes. Perhaps most importantly, the new rules open up the nominating process to even greater participation. "

The recommendations will be voted on by the full DNC membership at the committee's August meeting in St. Louis.


Filed under: DNC • President Obama
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. DENNA

    I would love to see the primary season and the election season shortened. Seriously, why do we have to suffer through a nice summer listening to all that braying (Democrats, I'm one) and big nose honking (the Rethugs)? I think the election season should last from September to the voting in November. Two months should be enough for anyone to get their points across. I think primary campaigning should also last only about two months. Seriously, I don't even start listening until about that time? How about anyone else?

    July 10, 2010 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  2. La Piovra

    Why don't we just go to one national primary date, with one-voter-one vote representation?

    July 10, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  3. Melissa

    I'd say that the DNC is right.

    July 10, 2010 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  4. Dick

    They’re just trying to cover up the failure-in-chief. But sorry Dems, Sarah Palin will be coming to town in January 2012. Nice try though!

    July 10, 2010 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  5. MarkJ

    "In a related story, Democratic party officials also proposed 'permanently delaying' both the 2010 mid-term and 2012 presidential elections. 'Hey, wemight actually lose both houses and the presidency....and we can't have that, now can we?'"

    July 10, 2010 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  6. valwayne

    Obama knows that he is likely going to face Hillary again for 2012. She will be forced into the primaries to try and save the party from his corruption and failures. So he's working to rig the primary season to his advantage. We'll see if it works!

    July 10, 2010 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  7. phoenix86

    Obama knows he is done, so he is trying to delay the official lame duck season. Too late thought, he'll be a lame duck in November.

    July 10, 2010 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  8. Gop

    This proves they are worried Obama might have some Competition in 2012 and if they don’t change the rules he might not get a chance to be their nominee! Can any one say here comes Hillary!!!

    July 10, 2010 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  9. sensible Cape Coral Fl

    The primaries should be done by geographical region e.g. New England States, Western States, Southwestern States etc, but that would have the disadvantage of being sensible. BTW it would also save money. Now that ought to get the Reopublican's attention

    July 10, 2010 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |