Each state is allotted a certain number of delegates at the party’s national convention. At the convention, delegates cast their vote for a candidate. The candidate who receives the majority of votes becomes the nominee. How a delegate votes, at least on the first round of balloting, is based on the outcome of the state's primary race.
New Hampshire, which has a state law requiring it hold its primary at least seven days before any other primary, faces a tough choice: Break state law or break RNC rules. "If we're being asked to choose between protecting and preserving the first-in-the-nation primary or being a delegate to the national convention, we'll give up our delegates," the state's Republican Chairman Fergus Cullen told the Boston Globe. The New Hampshire primary currently is scheduled for January 22 but is expected to be moved up to no later than January 8.
Iowa and Nevada will hold caucuses in January, but because delegates are not selected at these caucuses, caucuses are exempt from the RNC calendar restrictions.
The Democratic National Committee also tried to keep states from holding their primaries before February 5, but it exempted Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina. The DNC told Florida, whose primary now is scheduled for January 29, that its delegates would not be allowed at the convention. Florida Democrats responded by filing a lawsuit to prevent the action. Michigan, if it holds its primary January 15 as scheduled, likely will receive the same punishment. New Hampshire also seems headed for trouble with the DNC. Although exempted from the February 5 restriction, the state was told not to hold its primary earlier than January 22, something it almost certainly will do.
Despite pressure from both national parties, no state seems to be reconsidering its decision.
For more on the primary schedule see USINFO's Voting Web page.
Share your opinions on the U.S. primary and caucuses system.
19 October 2007
Brownback exits the race
After a poor fundraising quarter in which he raised just $94,000 from July through September, Kansas Senator Sam Brownback is calling it quits. In comparison, the top fundraisers for each party were Democratic candidate and New York Senator Hillary Clinton with $27 million and Republican candidate and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani with $11 million. More information about candidates' third-quarter fundraising is available here.
The Republican candidate, one of the most vocal on the issues of immigration, abortion and gay marriage, consistently has polled in the single digits. "My yellow-brick road came just short of the White House this time," he said in a press conference in Kansas on Friday.
See the biographies of all the candidates on USINFO's new Candidates Web Page.
Who do you think will drop out next? Send us your predictions.
18 October 2007
Primary calendar chaos continues
USINFO has launched a new U.S. Elections Web site that includes great interactive features, including a map that lets you click on the state and see when its primary will be held.
Keeping this map accurate is not an easy task. As we get closer to 2008 and states inch their primary dates earlier and earlier, it seems the USINFO map needs updating on a near-daily basis.
Iowa Republicans moved their caucus date to January 3, 2008 – making this the earliest start to a presidential voting season in history. The Iowa Democrats are scheduled to caucus January 14 – for now.
Here is where things get tricky: Iowa is fiercely protective of its first-in-the-nation status, and state law says they have to hold the first presidential contest. New Hampshire, whose primary now is scheduled for January 22, also has a state law saying its presidential primary will be seven days or more ahead of any other state race except Iowa’s. Michigan moved its primary to January 15, which means now New Hampshire, by law, must hold its race no later than January 8.
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