The Florida GOP has set phone lines blazing with news that it will defy the Republican National Convention and hold its presidential primary on Jan. 31.
Secretary of State Brian Kemp just announced that he’ll announce at 11 a.m. Thursday the date of Georgia’s 2012 presidential primary.
Place your bets on one of four Tuesday’s in March, beginning with the 6th.
On Saturday, the executive committee of the Georgia Republican party quietly – and unanimously – shifted its delegation allotment system from winner-take-all to proportional, state GOP chairman Sue Everhart confirmed this afternoon.
“We changed our rules to be a proportionate state, and that allows us to go in March,” Everhart said. “I don’t know what dates [Kemp] is looking at.”
The RNC had declared that all states in which a victorious candidate wins all delegates (Georgia has 76) must wait until April 1 to hold a primary – an attempt to maintain the drama and keep voters engaged beyond the first few contests.
States that award delegates proportionately can hold primaries as early as March 6 – unless they are Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina, or a certain Sunshine State that will host the national GOP convention next year.
Should Georgia move its primary earlier than March 6, then it would be subject to losing half its Tampa delegation. Everhart, as chairman, would be the first to lose her credentials — which might please Gov. Nathan Deal.
But also losing his credentials would be Alec Poitevint, a member of the Republican National Committee and chairman of the committee in charge of the Tampa convention. That would be awkward.
Note that Alabama and Mississippi have already scheduled their primaries for March 13, 2012. Were Georgia to join them, that would create something of a Deep South primary, with Georgia as the largest prize in the group.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider