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Michigan House approves moving presidential primary to Jan. 15

Michigan House approves moving presidential primary to Jan. 15

The Michigan House on Thursday approved moving the state's U.S. presidential nomination contests to Jan. 15, just days after national Democrats vowed to punish states that vote too early.
In an unusual series of events, states have been challenging tradition and moving up their votes in the 2008 election process. Candidates who win early states have more momentum, giving those early states more influence nationwide.
Michigan's Democratic governor, Jennifer Granholm, is expected to sign the bill, but approval of the switch is far from certain as state Democratic leaders debate how the vote should be structured.
The ever-changing contest schedule _ and the earlier start _ has created an enormous level of discomfort for national parties trying to impose discipline, as well as presidential campaigns trying to figure out strategies when voting could begin in just five months.
The primary election calendar was designed to preserve the traditional role that Iowa and New Hampshire have played in selecting the nominee, while adding two states with more racial and geographic diversity, South Carolina and Nevada, to influential early slots.
But South Carolina Republicans moved their primary to Jan. 19, forcing Iowa and New Hampshire to reconsider their dates to maintain their early status. Iowa caucuses had been scheduled for Jan. 14 and New Hampshire's primary was tentatively set for Jan. 22. Nevada is scheduled to vote on Jan. 19.
More moves are expected in the coming weeks.
As a state with a large number of delegates to the nominating conventions, Michigan would command considerable attention from candidates if it moved to a mid-January date.
But if it moves up, Michigan risks losing all its delegates. Seeking to impose discipline on states, the Democratic National Committee's rules committee voted this week to take away Florida's 210 delegates to the party's national nominating convention next summer after Florida Democrats moved up their primary to Jan. 29.
Last weekend, Wyoming Republicans also decided to jump ahead to Jan. 5. The Republican National Committee insists it will penalize states that schedule nominating contests before Feb. 5 by withholding half of their delegates to its party convention next summer.


Updated : 2021-10-27 05:28 GMT+08:00