Dean Fights Florida on Primary Move

Howard Dean is threatening to not count Florida’s delegates if it moves its primary to January 29.

DNC Chairman Howard Dean continues to wield the threat of sanctions that would effectively bar Florida delegates from participating in the party’s 2008 convention if the primary is staged on Jan. 29. He reiterated this Tuesday in assuaging party activists from New Hampshire, who are worried that the traditional clout of their state’s “first-in-the-nation” primary — currently slated for Jan. 22 — is imperiled by Florida’s aggressive scheduling move.

“Their primary essentially won’t count,” Dean said of Florida in a videotaped exchange with members of Victory NH, a group seeking to preserve their state’s primacy in the presidential nominating process.


State party officials have cautioned Dean that any such sanctions could hurt the party’s efforts to win the key 27 electoral votes in the politically competitive state, where a highly controversial vote count narrowly decided the 2000 election in favor of Republican George W. Bush.

Dean’s right here. While having New Hampshire and Iowa decide the tempo of the nominating process has always struck me as silly, the parties have a right to decide the rules of their candidate selection.

My hunch remains that the race to move to the front of the primary pack will ultimately result in a national primary. That would ultimately end this tension and allow the campaign to progress at a more reasonable pace.

FILED UNDER: Uncategorized, , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. davod says:

    Didn’t the Dems start this off themselves. Now they get upset because it is not going the way they wanted.

  2. just me says:

    I think front loading the primaries is dumb. The last thing I want is what essentially will turn out to be an 8 or 9 month general election.

    But I am also not convinced a single primary day is the answer either.

    Also, I am pretty sure that NH has some kind of law/constitutional amendment or something that says their primary has to be the first primary.