Despite the uncertainty swirling around the date of the New Hampshire primary, Iowa Republicans have officially set a January 3 date for their caucuses, the Des Moines Register reported.
Iowa traditionally holds the first-in-the-nation caucus, followed by New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary. However, the New Hampshire GOP has not yet set its primary date, and Secretary of State Bill Gardner has not yet indicated when a decision will be made. He is currently pushing Nevada Republicans to move their caucus to after January 14 date in order to better accommodate the Granite State.
Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Matt Strawn condemned Florida for throwing the entirely calendar into chaos, and Nevada for creating still more trouble.
“I will do everything in my power on the [Republican National Committee] to hold Florida accountable for creating this mess, but the culpability for creating a compressed January calendar does not end there,” Strawn said in a statement.
“The actions of early state newcomer Nevada have also exacerbated this problem and unnecessarily crowded the January calendar,” he continued. “Time remains for Nevada to respect the process, honor tradition and rectify the problem in a way that will restore order to the nomination calendar.”
Nonetheless, Iowa GOP central committee member Wes Enos told the Des Moines Register that the party decided to go ahead and set a date, but put it “as early in January as possible to give Gardner the most wiggle room should he indeed wish to stay in January.”
Gardner has threatened a December primary if Nevada’s caucuses are not moved to a later date to leave the required seven days between New Hampshire’s primary and any other state’s nominating process. Nevada Republicans have indicated that they will not change their caucus date.