Did Florida just quash a possible Chris Christie campaign?
By holding its presidential primary on Jan. 31, Florida bumps the whole nominating calendar forward. That means anyone still contemplating a 2012 bid (maybe Chris Christie or Sarah Palin) has a lot less time to pull together a credible campaign.
It’s official: Florida has set its presidential primary for Jan. 31, 2012. This means that the four states allowed by the Republican National Committee to hold their primaries and caucuses before March 6 are all but certain to schedule their primaries for January, too – or even earlier.Skip to next paragraph
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So now, anyone thinking of jumping into the Republican nomination sweepstakes suddenly has at least a month less to pull a campaign together to compete in the all-important earliest contests, in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada.
IN PICTURES: Republicans in the 2012 presidential race
Paging Chris Christie (and Sarah Palin). The governor of New Jersey has backed away ever so slightly from his “not a chance” assertions about running for president. And we still haven’t heard any final verdict from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who had said she would let us know by the end of September, though that turned into “end of September... ish.”
We still place long odds that either will run for president, but if one or both does, they’ll have just a matter of weeks to get ready for the first contest, the Iowa caucuses. Before Mr. Gardner of New Hampshire put out his statement, Iowa was expected to go early in January, as early as Jan. 2. New Hampshire would then go as early as Jan. 10, followed quickly by Nevada and South Carolina. At time of writing, the whole calendar was still up in the air.
Those first four states were originally scheduled to go in February, which would have given the candidates all of January to prepare and campaign. Truth be told, it’s been clear for some time that Florida was going to jump to January, and the campaigns have been behaving accordingly. But now that Florida has announced its new date, Governor Christie must decide if he can really put all the pieces in place for a credible run by the beginning of January.