Florida part of 4 big states moving their Presidential Primaries up by Mitch E. Perry

01/25/07
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Florida Part of 4 Big States Moving Their Presidential Primaries up

 

Although the 2008 Presidential Election is still 21 months away, the race for who the nominees will be continues to accelerate.

 

Today in a front page story, the New York Times reported that Florida and 3 other big states – California, Illinois, and New Jersey – plan to move their 2008 Presidential Primaries to the first week in February, potentially radically changing the strategies of all the candidates in the race.

 

In Florida, such a change would need to be approved by the state legislature.  In the past, the national parties in Washington have been quick to penalize states who go out of their traditional order, which generally begins with the Iowa Caucucas and then the New Hampshire Primary.

 

Mark Bubrinski is a spokesman for the Florida Democratic Party.  He believes that the Democratic National Committee in Washington will support Florida hosting an early Primary (roll tape#1 o.q.”compete here”)

 

Daryl Paulson is a professor of Political Science at the University of South Florida in St. Petersburg.  He says that the early primaries of big states like California and Florida – with their costly campaigns to run television ads, favors establishment candidates at the expense of lesser known ones (roll tape#2 o.q.”mega dollars to do so”)

 This development just the latest change in the traditional political calendar.  Last year the Democratic Party voted to allow Nevada and South Carolina to move their nominating contests into the narrow period at the beginning of the process that once was confined to just Iowa’s caucus and New Hampshire’s primary.  John Nichols is the Political writer for the Nation Magazine.  He says that Iowa and New Hampshire will still preserve their first in the nation status, but says that having other  states with diverse populations like Florida and California will be an improvement over the current system (roll tape#3 o.q.”the TV advertising”) But with as many as 5 other states also thinking of having their Presidential Primary on that first Tuesday of 2008, Nichols admits that having a Super Primary will be a deterrent to grass roots based candidates   (roll tape#4 o.q. “primary day”) Up until recently, there has been at least some suspense of who a party was going to select as its candidate….In 1984, Gary Hart lasted the entire Primary season while challenging Walter Mondale for the Democratic nomination.  But 3 years ago, after John Kerry upset the field in the Iowa Caucus, he became almost the defacto candidate at once, thoughnot a single Primary election had been held. Ted Devine, who worked for Kerry on that election, tells the New York Times that the new calendar changes could allow the race to go until at least March next year, saying, “
The nominating process in 2008 is not a little different.  It’s fundamentally different.”
 But is it good for Florida?  USF St. Pete Political Science Professor Daryl Paulson thinks it is (roll tape#5 o.q.”to win”) Long time analysts say a Presidential election campaign season has never began as the 2008 election, just weeks into 2007.  CNN has already announced that they will be hosting a debate in April, 9 months before the Primary there.  When asked if he believes Iowa or New Hampshire might move their causes and primaries into December of this year, USF’s Daryl Paulson replied (roll tape#6 o.q.”jumps ahead of somebody else”) The Florida Legislature will vote later this year on moving the Presidential Primary up from March to February.           

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