Nevada Sets 2012 Caucuses For January 14th, Iowa Caucuses On Dec. 26th?

Following on the heels of South Carolina scheduling its primary for January 21st, Nevada set its caucus for the week before:

Mark your calendars.

Nevada Republicans on Wednesday evening set Jan. 14 for the GOP presidential caucuses here, clearing the way for New Hampshire and Iowa to schedule their traditional first-in-the nation voting dates.

The new Nevada date, which falls on a Saturday, ensures the Silver State will hold the first 2012 vote in the West, after the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary and before the Jan. 21 South Carolina primary.

So now, it’s up to Iowa and New Hampshire to set their dates, and one theory comes up with a schedule that would have the first votes for President cast in 2011:

Nevada Republicans will hold their presidential caucus Saturday, Jan. 14, state GOP chairwoman Amy Tarkanian told POLITICO Wednesday night.

The first-in-the-West caucus will come a week before South Carolina’s Jan. 21 primary, leaving New Hampshire likely for Jan. 3, with Iowa’s caucuses coming the week before that – in December.

“I’m extremely pleased to finally have a firm date for a caucus that will greatly improve Nevada’s standing and relevance in terms of national politics,” Tarkanian said. “By establishing this date, we maintain Nevada’s standing as one of the first four ‘carve-out’ states and as the very first in the west.”

New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner told POLITICO this week he must abide by state law that requires the first-in-the-nation primary to be held at least seven days before the next nominating contest. With Nevada’s decision, that would seem to point to Tuesday, Jan. 3, though Gardner left open the possibility of holding the primary on a different day of the week.

“It’s always been on a Tuesday,” Gardner told POLITICO. “All our elections and our primaries have always been on a Tuesday. However, it would be possible to have it on a day other than a Tuesday.”

Iowa’s caucus is traditionally held eight days before New Hampshire’s primary. Eight days before the primary would be Monday, Dec. 26.

The Iowa Caucuses on the day after Christmas? Yea, this is insane.

FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, US Politics, , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Boyd says:

    They should take a few more logical steps down that path and, to save some money in these tight economic times, go ahead and hold their caucuses and primaries for the 2016 election at the same time and get that out of the way.

  2. @Boyd:

    Don’t give them any ideas

  3. This seems like the plot of a claymation christmas special, where Heat Miser and Snow Miser are both campaigning hard in an Iowa town in December, getting the town so polarized that by Christmas no one is talking to anyone else.

    Then at the last minute Santa saves the day by teaching everyone a valuable lesson about the real meaning of Christmas.

  4. Tlaloc says:

    The Iowa Caucuses on the day after Christmas? Yea, this is insane.

    insanely awesome.