Jan. 3 is tentative date for Iowa caucus
October 7th, 2011
02:00 PM ET
11 years ago

Jan. 3 is tentative date for Iowa caucus

Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) – The tentative date for Iowa's presidential caucus is Jan. 3, 2012, according to two members of the committee that will formally decide the date.

One member, Drew Ivers, told CNN on Friday that is the "consensus date" of the 18-member Iowa GOP Central Committee. Another member, AJ Spiker, told CNN, "The 3rd will clearly be the date."

"We had a consensus last night. We talked about it, the entire central committee by telephone," Ivers said.

Friday morning Iowa GOP Chairman Matt Strawn told reporters the matter isn't finalized, according to Radio Iowa's Kay Henderson.

"There's been no final decision made, you know, on when the date of the Iowa Caucuses will be. One thing, in discussing it with my committee members last night, we very much want to make sure that we're doing everything possible to keep the Caucuses in January," Strawn said.

Ivers said the group agreed on three broad items.

"The consensus was that Iowa should have our caucuses on January 3rd. The second half of that consensus was we wanted [Iowa GOP Chairman Matt Strawn] to make that public right after the weekend, basically Monday morning," Ivers said.

"And thirdly, we then decided to have a meeting, give a 10-day notice for the meeting as of last night. Which means we could have our meeting on the 16th [of October], which unfortunately is a Sunday. So we might just move it to the 17th and make it official," Ivers added.

The entire Central Committee must formally meet and declare Jan. 3 as the Iowa caucus date before it can be called "official."

Ryan Gough, spokesman for the Iowa GOP stressed that point to CNN.

"There are a couple scenarios that are somewhat obvious," Gough said. "But a date has not been set at this point."

While it's true there is no "official" date, both committee members suggested that's merely a formality.

"Through our insistence the other night, [GOP Chairman Matt Strawn] knows that we support the 3rd as a committee and he can announce it at any time," Spiker said.

"The state central committee sets the date, not the party chairman."

Spiker and Ivers also talked about the logic behind the group's decision to pick Jan. 3.

"The reason we wanted to make that public by Monday is because, we're concerned that New Hampshire would grab that date," Ivers said. "You see – if we would grab 5th or 6th of January, New Hampshire could leap in front of us and grab the 3rd. Because the 3rd is Tuesday. And they usually have their primaries on a Tuesday."

Meanwhile, Spiker likened the move to a precautionary measure.

"There was a clear consensus that to protect our first in the nation status – and to make sure we don't have a caucus in December – that January 3rd was the date," Spiker said.

The date was first reported by the Des Moines Register.

Exactly when Iowa would hold its first in the nation presidential caucus has been the subject of intense speculation. Some had speculated – even feared – that Iowa would hold its contest in December based on laws and traditions in Iowa and New Hampshire.

The political calendar hopscotch started after Florida leaped ahead and announced it would violate Republican National Committee rules – and hold its primary on January 31, 2012.

The four states allowed to hold the first presidential contests – Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina – jumped into the scheduling fray. South Carolina announced its primary would be Jan. 21 and Nevada announced its contest would be Jan. 14.

–CNN's Paul Steinhauser and Rachel Streitfeld contributed to this report

- Follow Shannon Travis on Twitter: @ShanTravisCNN

Filed under: 2012 • Iowa
soundoff (45 Responses)

    Drew Ivers has endorsed Ron Paul for President. He's obviously maneuvering to put the Caucuses to coincide with BCS Bowl games. This is because more people who may have been inclined to caucus will stay home and then Ron Paul's passionate supporters will run a much smaller risk of being outnumbered.

    October 7, 2011 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Paul wont win because the party cant have him win the nomination, he is way to outspoken on big bussiness, that simply wont do. i wonder how we are to expect change, the system is broken, as soon as money plays a parrt, its open for manipulation and influence. we need a system that gives any candidate with enough votes to be in a pool of candidates that evenly split a given sum of money.the new law allowing limitless contrbutions has destroyed any chance at democracy

    October 7, 2011 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  3. Robin

    "Peter Trummer

    What gives Iowa, the bastion of religious extremism, the right to vote before anyone else?
    These people do not represent my view of the world. Their view is an insulated close minded ideology.
    Let NH vote first at least that state has people with pragmatic viewpoints."

    Iowa a bastion of religious extremism? Is that why Iowa
    1. Allows gay marriage
    2. Does not have the death penalty
    3. Voted Democrat in the last presidential election


    October 7, 2011 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  4. Mitch

    According to the 2010 census Iowa is 91.3 percent white. There is no way they can be a representation of the population of the U.S. as a whole. The same issue can be raised for New Hampshire. Candidates will drop out of the race due to the results in these states, and it isn't fair to the rest of us.

    October 7, 2011 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  5. mason

    why does iowa have to be firstanyway?

    October 7, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  6. mikek

    Ahh, people need to wake up and do their own research on the net. Find out who you guys think are most dominating. I will keep to my own, the person I believe to be the real front runner. I wont even tell you the results you'll find but check all the Candidates, theirs only one that truly is the frontrunner.

    Can you guess who? With proof.

    Of the republican group – (Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann)

    Who has the most hits on youtube?
    Who has the most vids on youtube?
    Who has won the most online polls, straw polls, CPAC?
    Who has the most links on Google?
    Who is the most Searched?

    This comment might get erased but the awnsers their truly their.

    October 7, 2011 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  7. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    According to the 2010 census Iowa is 91.3 percent white. There is no way they can be a representation of the population of the U.S. as a whole. The same issue can be raised for New Hampshire. Candidates will drop out of the race due to the results in these states, and it isn't fair to the rest of us.
    Life isn't fair. Get over it. Do you expect perfect demographics for gender as well? Egads, what lunacy.

    October 7, 2011 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  8. Ralph in Orange Park, FL

    "Mommy, why is Santa handing out campaign flyers?"

    October 7, 2011 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  9. Bob

    I can't think of a better way to ruin the holidays.

    October 7, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  10. The Greedy Old PIgs have lost their minds!

    What's funny is that the GOBPbaggers have such tunnel vision that they've failed to realize that much of the nation will be fixated on bowl games while they desperately try to cling media coverage and a sense of relevancy.

    October 7, 2011 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  11. thomas

    Can I vote useing my NRA Elmer Fudd ID card ?

    October 7, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  12. martinmunson

    John McCain told wickedimproper . com that Americans could "vote or not vote, it doesn't make a difference."

    October 7, 2011 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  13. Chris

    Why don't we just open all primary polls on January 1 so all these stupid states can stop jumping over each other to have the first primary?

    October 7, 2011 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  14. TM4

    Ron Paul is the only real candidate, and this text is for everybody, who say he's crazy:

    98,7& of troop that were in Afganistan or Iraa vote for him. He's the only candidate, who wants to bring the Army home now. So if the troops are behind him, than tell me this: what is it, that you know about the wars, that the soldiers don't know?

    October 7, 2011 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  15. Kenny K

    Shouldn't the national Republican chairman or administration manage the order in which the states line up in the process?
    Why all these confusions?

    October 7, 2011 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  16. Bob

    Good, one step closer to a national primary

    October 7, 2011 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  17. maybeajoke

    try this tentative date. I bet this tentative date will not work fine.

    October 7, 2011 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  18. Barry G.

    I'm going to see if my state will move their caucus up to December, or even November.

    But seriously, is anyone else dreading the endless commercials we're going to have to endure for the next year.

    I realize that elections are important, but please spare us!

    I'm so thankful for the TV's remote control.

    October 7, 2011 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  19. Lynne

    I know...all nomination votes and caucus's should be on the same day...just like the national election. Get is all done in one fell swoop! The no one state gets to out do any other. And we the voters don't have to put up with all the politicking for 900000 years!!! All the candidates that want to keep their hats in can, one big day and done...move on to the big game.

    October 7, 2011 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  20. GI Joe

    They will get the one they can convince to keep THE SUBSIDIES FOR FARMERS THAT GROW NOTHING. Mark my word. Republicans/baggers are a strange lot.

    October 7, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
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