Iowa governor: 2012 caucuses will move if Florida refuses to budge
February 26th, 2011
03:44 PM ET
12 years ago

Iowa governor: 2012 caucuses will move if Florida refuses to budge

Washington (CNN) - As Florida Republicans threaten to disrupt the presidential nominating calendar by holding their 2012 primary date in January instead of later in the year, Iowa's Republican governor is vowing to protect the traditional first-in-the-nation status of his state's caucuses.

"We will move up," Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, a Republican, told CNN on Saturday at the National Governors Association winter meeting. "We did it last time. We will do it again. We will be first and New Hampshire will be after us. We will work them on whatever we have to do."

Florida's primary is currently scheduled for January 31, 2012, tentatively placing it ahead of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina - the four states given coveted February leadoff spots in the nominating process that was approved last year by the Democratic and Republican national committees.

Several states, including Florida, require legislative action to adjust their primary or caucus dates.

But Florida Republicans, who control both chambers of the legislature and the governor's mansion, want their state to play a pivotal role in choosing the next GOP presidential nominee and are resisting calls to move their primary to a later date. That could compel the first four states to schedule their contests earlier in January to protect their cherished leadoff status.

Branstad stopped short of asking Florida to move its primary to a later date.

"I am just saying we will do what we need to do," he said. "Far be it for me to tell Florida what to do. But we are committed to being the first contest in the country. We have moved it before and we will do it again."

Filed under: 2012 • Florida • Iowa • Terry Branstad
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. WatchDawg

    Whatever happened to 1 man 1 vote, those with the greatest number of votes wins.

    February 26, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  2. Tony in Maine

    On Inauguration Day 2016, Iowa and Florida will be battling to see who can start their caucuses the closest to the last words of the new President's address.

    I am reminded of children – perhaps as mature as 4th graders – trying to lay claim to a swing.

    It's time to grow up, kids.

    February 26, 2011 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  3. Dakota

    Finally, he does something I like. You tell em, Branstad!

    February 26, 2011 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  4. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    You go Iowa! How about having your primary tomorrow, so we know which republican the Kochs have picked. Just show America how republicans are the two-bit players for the billionaires. Explain to us why republicans think the wealthy who make 80% of all income only pays 40% of the taxes collected in America.

    February 26, 2011 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  5. Valerie from Raleigh

    The once-proud Republican Party, with a group of possible presidential candidates, lead by Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann, has truly lost their way. They have let the Tea Party dictate candidates, meaning the reasonable republican candidates will be replaced by a Tea Partier such as O'Donnell from Delaware, the one that kept telling us she was not a witch. Where are the Republican candidates of late, such as John Warner of Virginia, a man of character who had class and distinction and whose goal was the good of the country? Many of the currect republican candidates I would not even chose as a friend. Sad

    February 26, 2011 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  6. SPLAT!~

    As an Iowan, it's obvious we don't deserve first in the nation status anymore. We have high unemployment and a decaying educational system and the best that our House Republicans can do is try to sell state treasures and carry out personal vendettas against the homosexual community. Yeah I'm talking about you BETTY DeBOUF.

    February 26, 2011 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  7. lou

    He is no good. He came in and started slashing teachers, nurses, took away pre-school funding, laid off 200 in social services, then turned around and offered a kidding, google it....percent tax cut to corporations. Lost revenue from Walmart alone will cost the state millions. A list of his campaign donors will tell you why.

    February 26, 2011 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  8. Smith

    This is absurd. No state should have a primary more than 3 months in advance for a presidential election.

    Another thing- why are the actual election primaries paid for with PUBLIC funds (state and local municipalities to provide polling places, voter party affiliate registration, and the cost of tallying and reporting the votes?) The primaries are solely to pick which candidate will represent the political parties. It seems to me that the political parties should bear the cost of picking their candidates. Only the final general election should be paid from public funds.

    February 26, 2011 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  9. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Republicans can move their 2012 caucus to the moon, they still won't win.

    February 26, 2011 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  10. T'sah from Virginia

    Keep going further and further back – who cares – and why is it that the RepubliCAN'Ts decide when to MOVE something??????

    February 26, 2011 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  11. J.V.Hodgson

    These are Party meetings as I understand it to support a particular candidate for the presidential nomination which in the end is decided at the RNC party convention at a later date.
    I therefore fail to see why Florida think bringing thier caucus forward will have national implications by being sooner rather than its existing order in the process.?
    Perhaps thats why I could never be a politician!?

    February 26, 2011 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  12. Frank in Valparaiso Indiana

    Iowa. Flyover country. Who cares.

    Nothing but a bunch of farmers. Totally clueless about how the world works. Been there, didn't want the T-shirt.

    February 27, 2011 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  13. robert

    do it alphabetically- Alabama is first, the following election they are last, etc....

    February 27, 2011 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  14. Chris

    If they keep moving it up, they'll eventually have their caucus the day after the election.

    February 27, 2011 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  15. NoWay

    Two egos fighting to be first. What a pile of dung.

    February 27, 2011 07:56 am at 7:56 am |