Happy New Year: New Hampshire Sets Primary for Jan. 8th

The date for the New Hampshire presidential primary has been set for January 8th, earlier than ever before.

The date puts the primary five days after the Iowa caucuses, an established sequence for modern presidential campaigns. [Secretary of State] Gardner, who has authority under state law to set the primary’s timing, acted hours after a Michigan court cleared the way for that state to go forward with a Jan. 15 primary.

This year’s contests for the Republican and Democratic presidential nomination will begin earlier than in any past campaign, part of a trend that has pushed primaries and caucuses closer to the beginning of presidential election years.

New Hampshire’s first primary, in 1916, was held in March. In 1996 it was Feb. 20 and in 2000 the New Hampshire primary was held on Feb. 1. The 2004 primary was Jan. 27.

Anybody else think it’s unfair how New Hampshire and Iowa always get to come first?  We’ve seen other states, like California, New York and New Jersey, try to get in on some of the presidential love by attempting to move their dates for primaries and caucuses earlier.  However, Iowa and New Hampshire are still getting the most attention.  Is it fair to repeatedly give so much influence to two states that rank 30th and 41st, respectively, in terms of population in the nation?

Maybe it’s just because I don’t live in either state, but I would like to see a rotating primary schedule where different states come first every election.  If Iowa and New Hampshire come first in 2008, they should be placed near the end for 2012.  What do you think?

New Hampshire Sets Jan. 8th for Presidential Primary – [Bloomberg.com]

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