Key Battleground State Moves To Shift Primary Date Up

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Mary Lou Masters Contributor
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A Pennsylvania state Senate committee unanimously voted Wednesday to move its presidential primary election up in 2024.

The State Government Committee approved the bill, proposed by Vice Chair Republican Sen. David Argall, which would change Pennsylvania’s presidential primary from late April to March 19, according to the state legislature’s website. The proposed new primary date for the third Tuesday in March comes just two weeks after Super Tuesday, when over a dozen states hold their nominating contests.

“I introduced this bill to give Pennsylvania voters a greater say in selecting their preferred candidate for President of the United States,” Argall said in a statement. “As the fifth largest state in the country, we should have a stronger role in this election. In most Presidential elections, the outcome is largely decided before our voters have a chance to cast their vote.” (RELATED:
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Under the new bill, Pennsylvania would hold its primary on the same day as Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Ohio and Kansas, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Pennsylvania has been holding its primary on the fourth Tuesday in April, according to the Pennsylvania Election Code. In 2024, that date falls on the week of Passover, a major Jewish holiday, which prompted Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro to call for next year’s primary to be moved, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Former President Donald Trump is currently leading the crowded 2024 Republican primary field in Pennsylvania with 39%, followed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis with 21%, conservative businessman Vivek Ramaswamy with 9% and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott with 6%, according to an Aug. 24 Franklin & Marshall poll. All other GOP hopefuls garnered 5% or less support in the state.

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