Nevada reschedules caucus for February 4
October 22nd, 2011
03:20 PM ET
11 years ago

Nevada reschedules caucus for February 4

(CNN) - Under pressure and amid threats of candidates boycotting the state, the Nevada Republican Party pushed back the date of its caucus to February 4.

The state's GOP central committee voted in overwhelming favor of the new date on Saturday.

Nevada's Republican Party made headlines earlier this month when it decided to move up its contest to January 14 in hopes of staying a key player in the early voting process. The move came after Florida threw the calendar into disarray by setting its primary for January 31, jumping ahead of the four early voting states.

A number of presidential candidates, including former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, had pledged to boycott the Nevada caucuses.

The January 14 date threatened to force New Hampshire to shift its primary into early or mid-December in order to save its first-in-the-nation primary status, according to a letter released by New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner.

But New Hampshire leaders expressed support over Nevada's latest decision on Saturday.

"Nevada’s decision to reschedule to February 4 will now allow Secretary of State Bill Gardner to schedule our primary at a more appropriate time than would’ve been allowed with Nevada’s earlier date," said New Hampshire Republican Committee Chairman Wayne MacDonald in a statement. "The New Hampshire Primary is important not just as a long standing tradition, but as an opportunity for lesser-funded or lesser-known candidates to have the opportunity to be heard."

Iowa GOP Chairman Matt Strawn also praised the schedule change.

"The voters and our candidates are well served by a nomination process that starts in 2012 and today's action is a major step toward that goal," Strawn said in a statement.

The Hawkeye State, which holds the nation's first caucus, set its date for Jan. 3.

Huntsman, who skipped Tuesday's debate in Las Vegas out of protest of Nevada's Jan. 14 date, said Saturday the change is a victory for New Hampshire but continued to charge Mitt Romney of influencing Nevada to move up to January in the first place.

"Ultimately, Granite Staters wouldn’t have had to struggle to keep their primary tradition intact if the Romney campaign, for its own advantage, did not attempt to game our democracy by lobbying states to move up their primary contests," Huntsman said in a statement.

Nevada's decision comes after heightened pressure this week from the National Republican Committee, which reminded Nevada that the state would be penalized and lose half its delegates for jumping ahead with its contest in violation of RNC rules.

But Saturday, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus applauded the state's new February date.

"This change ensures that Nevada retains its prominent national role, as the first contest in the West, and it restores Nevada’s full slate of delegates to the Republican National Convention," Priebus said in a statement.

Earlier in the week, Priebus sent a letter to Nevada GOP Chairwoman Amy Tarkanian saying he supported a date change to February 4.

Priebus argued that a February caucus would still give Nevada a prominent place in the nomination calendar, and the state would avoid losing half its delegates as an RNC penalty for holding a contest too early.

"A February 4th caucus date will eliminate the uncertainty caused by Florida's actions and the posturing of New Hampshire's secretary of state, restore order to the primary calendar and benefit Nevada in multiple ways. There are several reasons I believe Nevada will be best served by holding its caucuses on February 4th," said Priebus.

- CNN's Rachel Streitfeld and Peter Hamby contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Nevada • RNC
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. CarolO

    Why are they in such a rush always for their caucus? It only takes a debate or two or a couple very stupid statements to get someone to change their mind in how they vote. The longer they wait, seems to me the more they learn about who they are voting for. And why is it that Iowa always is the one who goes first? What makes them so special?

    October 22, 2011 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  2. logic in LA

    So Nevada's GOP are Wimps. too bad they didn't stand pat. After all, it's not like they are planning an election- all they are doing is planning political musical chair- you know a caucus. Anytime you gather people in a room for a very limited time and say who are you supporting for the next 15 minutes and then let them change their minds, you are not using an election process. Plus you are excluding a goodly number of voters because of the limited hours this process allows for.
    Another state that should not be allowed to select a presidential candidate.

    October 22, 2011 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  3. Antonio666

    Sounds a lot like a guy with a "size" problem, if you catch my drift.

    October 22, 2011 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  4. DE

    As a freedom loving American, all of these right wing clowns scare the hell out of me.

    October 22, 2011 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  5. T'sah from Virginia

    ►The state's GOP central committee voted in overwhelming favor of the new date on Saturday.◄

    Then why did they change the date in the first place??? Attention-grabbers!

    October 22, 2011 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  6. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    What difference does it make when they hold their circus of clowns unless their waiting for a new clown to come to town.

    October 22, 2011 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  7. Gino

    Be a Cheney. Shoot someone. Only then will you be a real man.

    October 22, 2011 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  8. Tom Cruise

    And this clone I mean clown is running for president, god help us!

    October 22, 2011 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  9. smittnews

    Mitt Romney did not force anyone to go forward they said it was Floridas fault they moved forward first get facts straight huntsman and quit crying cause you are losing in polls. Mitt Romney as unpaid and truly NOT A POLITICIAN Got your calculators handy? Let’s recap. Volunteer campaign worker for his dad’s gubernatorial campaign – 1 year. Unpaid intern in Governor’s office – 8 years. Mormon missionary in Paris – 2 years. Unpaid bishop and stake president for his church – 10 years. No salary as president of the Olympics – 3 years. No salary as MA governor – 4 years. That’s a grand total of 28 years of unpaid service to his country, his community and his church. Why? Because that’s the kind of man Mitt Romney is. I bet he won't be paid to be president either. Find me someone one else who doesn't make a bang off Rep buck no wonder they don't like him he can't be bought.

    October 22, 2011 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  10. DENNA

    Wow. I can't believe how many states are vying to pick the GOP candidate that President Obama will mop up the floor with. I pick Michelle Bachmann. She's like Silly Sarah – all snappy rejoinders, but no brains. I have never seen such a sorry collection of politicians in my life.

    October 22, 2011 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  11. BUD IN NC

    This is how it works on these hunting ranches. Birds are raised in a cage on corn. Big rich hunter in manly hunting clothes is driven to open space in manly Jeep. Dogs brought up and released. Aids open bird cages. Birds fly out of cages for first time. Dogs bark and point. Manly hunter raises gun and shoots and kills birds. More birds released. Hunter kills more. After an hour or so and 60-70 dead birds, hunter feels like a real man. What a man.

    October 22, 2011 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  12. dina

    You hunt to eat. I don't think the millionaire Perry has to hunt to eat so he huts because it makes him feel like a man. Disgusting.
    What we don't need is a president who has to kill defenseless animals to feel like a man.

    October 22, 2011 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  13. todd in DC

    Remember when the first primaries didn't start until a couple weeks before Super Tuesday?

    Yeah, I'm that old.

    October 22, 2011 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  14. BessieAlane

    Yessss!! Now if only it would be a closed primary so my son who is a marine would have some say in this process.

    October 23, 2011 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  15. Kareny

    Jeff, then why did Texans elect him & keep re-electing him. Texans can't be than ignorant or stupid?

    October 23, 2011 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
  16. skarphace

    Wow. I wouldn't be surprised if Huntsman does very well in NH now. This was a big political victory for him.

    October 23, 2011 02:36 am at 2:36 am |
  17. SherylLynn

    Smart strategy considering 21.8 million Americans hunted at least once over the past five years and the bill of rights gives Americans the "right to keep and bear arms" and many Americans do just that.

    October 23, 2011 03:22 am at 3:22 am |
  18. craig

    I hope he doesn't shoot anybody like the experienced Cheney did. Guns don't kill people, idiots with guns do! They should both stick to video games.

    October 23, 2011 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
  19. Lilli

    I just have to wonder how many posts were allowed through supporting Rick Perry and his right to own a gun and hunt.
    And yes, Christians do own guns, hunt and sometimes hunt on a Sunday. The left has tried to smear Perry. So believe all the lies and da*ned lies you want. They're doing the same thing to Herman Cain.. Destroy the threat.

    October 23, 2011 08:02 am at 8:02 am |