Scheduling the Primaries and the Caucuses
Monday, October 10, 2011
Josh Putnam, an assistant professor at Davidson College who studies presidential primaries and writes the blog FrontloadingHQ, discusses how states are deciding when to schedule presidential primaries and party caucuses, and how the schedule determines the candidates who get into the race.
This year, Florida scheduled its primary up to January 31. The four states which go first in the primary calendar - Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, in that order - pushed their primaries and caucuses up as well. So how does the 2012 schedule for those five states compare to past elections? The graphic below shows the 2004 and 2008 elections - and it's clear that this isn't the first time we've seen similar dates.