October 28th, 2007
06:11 PM ET
15 years ago

Iowa set for January 3 caucuses

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Iowa Republicans and Democrats will have two days to shake off their New Years hangovers before braving the bitter January cold to cast the first votes in the 2008 race for the White House.

The Iowa Democratic Party on Sunday evening formally approved January 3 to hold its caucus, joining Hawkeye State Republicans, who approved the date for their own nominating event earlier this month.

"This date maintains the important common-sense principle of beginning the delegate selection process in the same calendar year as the election for which we are selecting delegates," Scott Brennan, chairman of Iowa Democratic Party, said in a statement. "But the overarching principle is to retain the importance of the caucuses. Holding the caucuses on the same day as the Republican Party of Iowa shows solidarity and unity in working to protect Iowa's First-in-the-Nation status, an important argument in the years to come."

The Iowa Democrats’ decision is one of the final pieces of the presidential nominating calendar puzzle to fall into place. New Hampshire still has not set a date for its primary, but Secretary of State William Gardner could make an announcement once the presidential primary filing period in his state closes Friday. With Iowa now scheduled to hold its contests January 3, Gardner could choose January 8 as the date for the New Hampshire primary.

Iowa Republicans and Democrats were originally scheduled to hold their caucuses January 14. The state parties, however, moved to January 3 because other states such as Michigan and individual state parties including the South Carolina Republican Party moved their primaries into mid-January. New Hampshire was scheduled to hold its primary January 22 under the original calendar.

Iowa and New Hampshire have traditionally been the first states to cast votes for the Democratic and Republican presidential nominees, and have worked hard to protect this privileged status.

As it now stands, there could be a total of 14 presidential nominating contests in January leading up to February 5, commonly referred to as “Super Tuesday.” On this day, more than 20 states will cast votes for the next Democratic and Republican presidential nominees. The major Democratic candidates have agreed not to participate in the Michigan and Florida primaries because these states violate the Democratic National Committee’s rules prohibiting any states other than Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina from holding nominating contests before February 5.

A quick glance at the presidential nominating calendar

January 3
Iowa Republican caucus
Iowa Democratic caucus

January 5
Wyoming Republican caucus

January 8
New Hampshire Republican primary (? New Hampshire Secretary of State William Gardner still needs to set the date).
New Hampshire Democratic primary (? New Hampshire Secretary of State William Gardner still needs to set the date).

January 15
Michigan Republican primary
Michigan Democratic primary

January 19
Nevada Republican caucus
Nevada Democratic caucus
South Carolina Republican primary

January 26
South Carolina Democratic primary (Probable. The South Carolina Democratic Party is currently scheduled to hold its primary on January 29, but will ask the DNC to allow the contest to be held three days earlier).

January 29
Florida Democratic primary
Florida Republican primary

February 1
Maine Republican caucus

February 5
“Super Tuesday”– 20-plus states hold presidential nominating contests

- CNN Political Editor Mark Preston and CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch

Filed under: Iowa • New Hampshire
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Daniel, NY

    In other calendar news, a new Florida poll has evidence that Dems are suffering from the showdown between the Florida party and the DNC, as Clinton has gone down against GOP candidates. Link.

    October 29, 2007 02:49 am at 2:49 am |
  2. Tyrone Calgary Canada

    It won't be as cold as Broom Hilda's heart, if she has one.
    Hillary has aged 10 years in the last year she is not up to the task.
    The country seems to warming up to Mitt Romney.

    October 29, 2007 03:13 am at 3:13 am |
  3. Wade

    Mitt Romney is on fire the more we get to know about this guy the more we like him, he is the only guy that is not a compromise candidate. He is building a name quick out there he got what it takes.
    Cold Iowa caucas for the democrats so much for Globull warming.

    October 29, 2007 03:16 am at 3:16 am |
  4. janice

    It may be cold in Iowa but Mitt Romney warms my heart.
    He's hot Paris Hilton hot!

    October 29, 2007 03:17 am at 3:17 am |
  5. Dave, Cheverly, MD

    Michigan & Florida voters need to complain to their states representatives to have their dates moved back to Feb 5th like they agreed prior to the start of the primaries.

    How many Super Bowls or World Series teams get to change the rules during a season. If two NFL teams decided during a season to disregard the NFL and move their games around. The NFL would sanction them and ignore the games.
    You CANNOT ALLOW this. Obama and the other candidates who took their names off are correct. Hillary is not taking hers off in MI or Florida because those would be the only states she will carry due to no other candidate being on the ballots against her.
    If a candidate supports the DNC and also will not campaign in MI or FL, Then WHY keep your name on the ballot? This is ALL a pathetic attempt to keep candidates that cannot Lead and make the tough decisions and choose to ride the fence on this issue, a chance to stay in the race after defeats in Iowa, NH and SC. HOW can you be president and not be able to make the right decisions?

    October 29, 2007 04:18 am at 4:18 am |
  6. jw, canadian,ok

    Well,well – aren't we excited about Iowa. Look, nobody gives a farkle in Oklahoma what Iowa does (unless it's in football)

    October 29, 2007 06:11 am at 6:11 am |
  7. A. Thomas, New York, NY

    ... a new Florida poll has evidence that Dems are suffering from the showdown between the Florida party and the DNC, as Clinton has gone down against GOP candidates. Link.

    Posted By Daniel, NY : October 29, 2007 2:49 am


    The reason why Giulian has revered hillary's earlier lead is becasuse giuliani shamelessly campaigned in florida recently, while hillary has followed the party decision to punish dlorida for unilaterally moving up its primary date.

    It shows that giuliani has no moral priniciples (ditto for his marriage vows), and that the republican party has less harsh rules and it cannot force its candidates to follow its rules for punishing florida for moving up the primary date, or the party will try to get votes at any costs.

    Giuliani and the republican party will pay for this error in judgement in the next election.

    October 29, 2007 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  8. Patrick Smith, Southbridge, MA

    You have no problem with Mitt and his ever changing stances on the major issues?? Do you really think what you see is what you get?? Do a little research, find out what his positions were when he was running for Senator and Governor of MA. you will see a totally different Mitt. And now that he needs the Religious Right vote, he all of the sudden sees Jesus as his personal savior, he wasn't saying that before.He is one BIG compromise!

    October 29, 2007 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  9. Mike Nakagita, Green Bay, Wisconsin

    So according to A Thomas from New York, Rudy Giuliani should not campaign in Florida because the Democrats told him not to? This is America my friend and much as Democrats want to suppress freedom of speech, it ain't gonna happen. And it is more honest to talk to the voters while your trying to raise cash from them rather than the Democrat hypocrisy of not letting their "principles" stand in the way of still raising cash there.

    October 29, 2007 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  10. Brandi,ny

    Just for the record, I remember hearing someone say something about dyslexia and I think they were referring to me, well that is stupid. I just couldn't remember the order of Collins numbers. 724 or 427

    October 29, 2007 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  11. Dixon Benshoof, Des Moines Iowa

    I would like to see all states vote on the same day. It should be a national primary vote. The number of votes would decide how many delegates to send to the conventions. It would give us less of all this bickering and lying to endure through the process. This may take some voice from smaller states, but in the end the results would be the same. Not to mention the cost would reduce to a reasonable level.

    October 29, 2007 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  12. Karen, Des Moines, Iowa

    I can understand why people resent the role voters in Iowa and New Hampshire play in choosing Presidential candidates, but be assured the people in both states take their responsibility very seriously. Voters in the big states like New York, California and Florida get to play their part in the Electoral College contest. This scrambling to get ahead of New Hampshire is damaging to the process. A national primary would be disastorous. You might as well let the media choose our President. They have too much influence already. I think the people who framed our Constitution meant for the President to be chosen state by state. They did not envision the role the two major political parties play in the process though. I think they meant it to be MORE like Iowa and New Hampshire, not less.

    October 30, 2007 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |