The schedule for the first four Republican presidential caucuses and primaries appeared officially set Wednesday with New Hampshire announcing that it would hold its first-in-the-nation primary on Jan. 10.
That would come one exactly seven days after the Iowa caucuses which were moved to Jan. 3, the first Tuesday of the new year, and which will kick off the process by which Republicans will choose their party’s nominee to contest President Obama for the White House.
The Nevada caucuses, which were also moved forward, are scheduled to occur on Saturday, Jan. 21 with the South Carolina primary coming exactly a week after that on Jan. 28.
New Hampshire’s decision finally ended fears that a presidential preference contest could take place in December 2011.
As happened in 2008, the first four states were forced to advance their schedules after Florida moved its primary to an earlier date than national party rules allowed.
Florida moved its primary in Jan. 31 despite party rules requiring the state to hold its contest no earlier than March. Florida officials said their state’s size, diversity, battleground status and electoral votes entitled it to have an earlier and perhaps more decisive role in the noominee-selection process.
For violating the party rules, Florida stands to lose some of its delegates to the national convention though in 2008 the party restored Florida’s delegates for a similar violation.