South Carolina GOP
Makes it Official
South Carolina Republicans made it official this morning: They are moving their 2008 presidential to Jan. 19, opening the door to a cascade of calendar changes in Iowa, New Hampshire and other early voting states that might send the first voters to the polls in December.
South Carolina GOP Chairman Katon Dawson, standing side-by-side at a newsconference with New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner, said the party was moving to protect South Carolina's tradition of holding the first primary in the South.
"We are here to stand shoulder to shoulder with our friends in New Hampshire to reaffirm the important role that both of our states play in presidential politics," Dawson said, according to the Associated Press.
South Carolina Republicans had originally planned their primary for Feb. 2. But a series of decisions by other states to move their primaries and caucuses to the front of the calendar--most notably, Florida, to Jan. 29 -- prompted the move by the South Carolina GOP.
New Hampshire will likely follow suit, because state law requires that it holds its first-in-the-nation primary eight dates before any other. And Iowa is also expected to bump up its caucuses - perhaps to before Christmas.
The responses of other states -- many of which had targeted Feb. 5 as a "Tsunami Tuesday" when about two dozen states will vote -- is not yet known.
South Carolina Democrats still plan to hold their primary on Jan. 29.
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