South Carolina Vows To Move Primary In Response To Arizona Scheduling

Predictably, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s decision to schedule the 2012 Arizona GOP Primary for the same day as the South Carolina Primary has not gone over well in the Palmetto State. Just hours after Brewer’s announcement, South Carolina Republicans went on the counterattack:

South Carolina Republicans are reacting swiftly to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s decision to defy the Republican National Committee guidelines and move her state’s primary to the same date they’ve got for theirs, promising they won’t remain on the calendar together for long.

South Carolina Republican Party Chair Chad Connelly says if his state can’t be alone in picking a presidential nominee on Feb. 28, they’re going to change to do a date when they can — setting off a likely domino effect of early state timing changes.

“We’re not going to share our date with anybody,” the South Carolinian told POLITICO. “Especially, not with any state that violates the rules.”

If South Carolina moves back, New Hampshire and Iowa are likely to as well. Connelly predicted strict consequences for any states — Florida is also looking at moving up its primary, as are others — which push the beginning of the official voting season back into early January.

“Rules are rules,” Connelly said. “All this drama didn’t need to be created. I think it’s totally an unnecessary distraction, and I don’t think the RNC’s going to look kindly on the states that are considering breaking the rules.”

This would seem to make inevitable a repeat of 2008, when the Iowa Caucuses and New Hampshire primary were scheduled ridiculously early. As I noted in July, however, there really isn’t a way to fix the situation since the states have control over when their primaries are held.

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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.