South Carolina's Republican presidential primary contest will be held on January 21, instead of February 28, according to CNN.
The scheduling change in the Palmetto State comes on the heels of Florida pushing up its primary on the 2012 election calendar. The contentious move prompted Nevada to change the state's caucus to an earlier date.
The AP reported over the weekend:
Florida's move thwarts efforts by both major political parties to delay presidential primaries and caucuses. Their aim has been to avoid a repeat of the 2008 scenario, when states jumped ahead of each other at that time in attempts to increase their influence in the process.
CNN reports that South Carolina GOP Chairman Chad Connelly said, "Last Friday, a nine-person committee brought chaos to the 2012 calendar." He added, "Today, South Carolina is making things right. South Carolina Republicans have a thirty year track record of picking the eventual Republican Presidential nominee. We will continue that historic tradition on January 21, 2012."
Summerville Patch reports that Connelly announced the primary calendar date change at the state party headquarters in Columbia.
Local station WCIV reports that South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley (R) signaled last week that she wouldn't allow her state to be upstaged as the first Republican primary in the South in the next election season. "No matter what date they move it to, we're going to push ours in front," she said.
It's appears likely that all of the primary calendar leapfrogging will lead New Hampshire to move up the date of the state's primary and Iowa to change its caucus to an earlier date.
New Hampshire House Speaker William O’Brien told Exeter Patch last week, "Florida may dilute the value of their primary, but we certainly won’t allow their actions to minimize the New Hampshire primary."
Former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu (R) said, "Iowa picks corn, Florida picks oranges, and New Hampshire picks presidents."