Frontloading Marches On
The Rules and Bylaws Committee of the Democratic Party has decided that the presidential nominating process needs to be compressed even more in 2008:
The [committee], in a decision that is likely to alter fundamentally the way the party chooses its nominee, voted for early contests in two new states — a caucus in Nevada and a primary in South Carolina. Party officials said the change was almost certain to be ratified by the Democratic National Committee next month.
The immediate effect would be to decrease the influence of Iowa and New Hampshire, the two states that have started — and some party officials argued, unfairly dominated — the nominating process since 1976.
The change was resisted by officials in New Hampshire, which would be sandwiched between a caucus on the Saturday before its famous primary and another primary on the next Tuesday. Gov. John Lynch, a Democrat, warned in a private letter to Democratic officials that the state party might defiantly try to invoke a New Hampshire state law to move the primary earlier.
Republican Party officials said that they were watching the Democratic maneuvering closely, and that it was likely, but not certain, that Republicans would also change their calendar along these same lines.
The change was applauded by Democrats who have long argued that the current system gave too much power to two states that were economically, geographically and ethnically not representative of the nation. In turning to Nevada and South Carolina, Democrats said they were looking to give blacks, Hispanics and union members more of a say in the selection of the nominee.
The Iowa Caucus is presently scheduled for January 14, 2008; at this rate, we may have primaries and caucuses starting a year before the presidential election by 2016.