GOP candidates split on Nevada caucus boycott
Several GOP candidates have signed on to boycott the Nevada caucuses unless they move their date from January 14th to January 17th. Moving to the 17th would allow New Hampshire’s primary to take place on January 10th as opposed to early December.
Report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
LAS VEGAS — Former pizza executive Herman Cain will boycott Nevada’s Republican caucuses, adding his voice to a growing chorus of critics urging the western battleground state to delay its presidential nomination contest by just three days.
Cain is the fifth candidate to boycott Nevada’s contest, joining former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann in siding with New Hampshire in the fight over the order in which states will vote in the GOP nomination contest. New Hampshire traditionally holds the nation’s first primary and critics of Nevada’s Jan. 14 caucus date argue that cramming all the primaries together will limit the time voters will have to get to know the candidates.
GOP state chairwoman, Amy Tarkanian, told reporters that New Hampshire has the wrong target, urging the candidates to boycott Florida, which she says sent the presidential calendar in disarray. Florida Republican leaders decided to jump into the middle of the traditional early state contests and hold their primary on Jan. 31. Nevada responded by moving its original Feb. 18 date up more than a month.
The call to persuade Nevada to delay its caucus date began Wednesday, when New Hampshire’s Secretary of State Bill Gardner threatened to hold the primary in early December to avoid shoehorning it between Iowa’s caucuses, tentatively scheduled for Jan. 3, and Nevada’s contest. Gardner suggested Nevada move its contest to Jan. 17, which would allow New Hampshire to hold its contest a week earlier on Jan. 10.
A New Hampshire conservative group on Friday joined the boycott call, demanding that the candidates turn their backs on Nevada if the caucus date isn’t changed.
Nevada, of course, is urging the candidates to set sights on Florida and the Sunshine state’s decision to move its primary to January 31st which set this ordeal in motion.
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