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2008 voting will probably begin in 2007

Posted by: on Aug 9, 2007 | No Comments

We saw speculation about this in the last two presidential election cycles, but it might actually happen this time. South Carolina Republicans have moved their primary to January 17, 2008, and this move looks to cause “a chain reaction among other early primary states,” whose primaries are scheduled in relationship to other primaries by state laws. For instance, New Hampshire’s state law dictates that it must have the first primary in the nation, a law that benefits NH immensely and selfishly. Similarly, the Iowa caucus is the first contest in the nation by state law. In theory, if another state were to legislate that their primaries had to precede New Hampshire’s, we would have a legislated infinite loop on our hands. I’m not sure how to press Control-C in that eventuality.

On a side note, when I lived in Iowa, it was commonplace to see presidential candidates as the caucuses and the Iowa Straw Poll approached. Meeting a candidate was a good way to get a free pancake breakfast. But the casual access did tend to spoil people. I remember one woman’s letter to the editor in the Des Moines Register, complaining that GW Bush had not visited the state enough; how could she decide whether to vote for him if she hadn’t even met him? Ah, Iowa.

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