Yes, Really: Nevada Republicans Poised to Move Caucus Date

Hey, guys:

If the ruby-slippered girl from Kansas had capitulated to the demands of the wicked witch (“SURRENDER DOROTHY“) and her flying monkeys, poor Toto might still be stuck in Oz.


As reported by Ralston last night and confirmed by numerous sources inside the state party, Nevada Republican leaders are going wobbly and reconsidering their Jan. 14 caucus date.

Many forces are at play here:

– The ire of New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner who has been threatening to move the Granite State’s first-in-the-nation primary to December if Nevada does not move its date back

– Firm but friendly pressure from the Iowa GOP

– Pressure and promises of future benefits from the Republican National Committee

– The threat of a boycott of Nevada’s caucuses by a number of presidential candidates who heart New Hampshire and have no chance in Nevada

– The worry about perceptions amid accusations from some party members that Team Romney influenced the executive board’s decision to move the caucus date into January (the earlier date did help Romney and put other candidates at a disadvantage because his campaign has the greatest amount of existing infrastructure)

– Concern with a whipped-up faction of the central committee who were already unhappy with an attempt by the executive board to adopt same-day voter registration rules for the Republican caucus

– Anger among party members that these decisions were made by the executive board behind closed doors and without consulting the general membership of the party

– The worry about an expected challenge to newly elected GOP chair Amy Tarkanian at this Saturday’s central committee meeting in Las Vegas

It remains to be seen whether party leaders will just go ahead and pick a new date before Saturday, or whether they will wait until this weekend when more than 200 Republicans are presently expected to vote on the matter.

Amy Tarkanian has repeatedly said Nevada will not hold the caucuses on a Tuesday, which means the most likely new date is Feb. 4.

As one embattled and audibly exhausted state party official told me in a phone conversation, Nevada “will still be first in the west” and will “still matter” — but with Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida all preceding the Silver State, it sure won’t matter as much as if the the Jan. 14 date had stood.

The Nevada Dems yesterday hassled the GOP about their reconsideration via a scathing press release (and an appearance by their memorable chicken mascot). Here’s their statement:

“Nevada Democrats moved our caucus date to bolster Nevada Republicans’ courage to stand up to Florida, who has violated rules agreed upon by both national Parties and is jeopardizing our hard-fought status as a presidential early-voting state. We are disappointed Nevada Republicans are now willing to risk Nevada’s status as an early voting state because they are afraid to stand up to the Republican National Committee’s empty threats and hollow promises. And since their threats against Florida proved toothless, the Beltway-minded RNC isn’t in the best position to honor promises like the ones they have reportedly made to the Nevada Republican Party. No matter what they have told in-state Republicans about securing Nevada’s third-in-the-nation status in future elections, Florida demonstrated the RNC is powerless to stop such actions. Since it would be a deep embarrassment to the state if Nevada Republicans wave the white flag on keeping our early voting status, we therefore strongly urge Gov. Sandoval and state Republicans not to retreat in this fight.”


  • Charlesteachout

    Much ado about nothing!!  Feb. 4 is EARLY ENOUGH!!