New Hampshire's GOP primary is early January focus.
Election years are always wacky and 2012 promises to out-wacky all on record. Combining a presidential election, redistricting in every state in the Union and a prediction that the world will end makes for a heady concoction. One swings wildly between laughter and tears.
Every month promises to have some political tidbit to share.
January 3rd is Caucus Day in Iowa. That has meant that December has been all Iowa all the time. Congratulate the Iowans. They have learned how to skin the east coast/west coast political elites and media with only minimal government expenditure. The caucuses are paid for by the political parties. Candidates are expected to bring large bags of cash or credit cards without limit to the table to be considered viable candidates.
Presidential candidates are honor and duty bound to visit every small town coffee shop, Rotary Club meeting, church supper and newspaper office, seeking supporters and local endorsements. It is an unspoken rule that candidates have multiple campaign headquarters throughout the sparsely populated state. Locals, with well earned expertise in the mystery of attracting voters out on a cold winter’s night for up to four hours during the work week, must be hired. Television advertising, direct mail, door to door, and all the other retail political moves require greenbacks spent with reckless abandon in the Hawkeye State.
While the focus was on Iowa in December, the focus in early January will go to snowy New Hampshire. On January 4th the GOP candidates move en masse to New Hampshire. The generally laconic New Hampshirites vote on January 10th. Before then, they too will see a candidate on every corner, in every restaurant, bar and public gathering. Some candidates, like Huntsman and Romney have spent considerable time in the Granite State, others will come in to grab a bit of the vote and the spotlight before voting day.
After New Hampshire, it’s South Carolina on the 21st and Florida on the 31st. The candidates will surely be relieved to be campaigning in sunnier climes than Iowa and New Hampshire.
February means more than hearts and flowers for presidential politics. It’s caucuses in Maine, Colorado and Minnesota, a primary that sorta won’t count in Missouri and two primaries on February 28th in Arizona and Michigan. Hopefully, we’ll all take Leap Day off from politics.
March is a dizzying whirl from sea to shining sea. Beginning with a caucus in Washington State on the 3rd, a flurry of contests will tax candidates’ stamina and pocketbooks.
Super Tuesday, March 6th, features caucuses in Alaska, Idaho, Wyoming (scheduled to last five days) and North Dakota, primaries in Georgia (Newt Gingrich’s home state), Massachusetts, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia. March 10th through the 17th will have caucuses in Kansas, the Virgin Islands, Missouri (a sort of do over) and Hawaii and primaries in Alabama and Mississippi. The month rounds out with primaries in Illinois and Louisiana.
April will be busy with big contests in big states. Primaries will be held in Maryland, Wisconsin, Texas, Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia.
The merry month of May will be spent in primaries in North Carolina, West Virginia, Nebraska, Oregon, Arkansas and finally Kentucky on the 22nd.
June means California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota all holding primary elections on the fifth day of the month. The big finish will be in Jon Huntsman’s home state, Utah, on June 26th.
Dates sourced from The Green Papers.com
July is a caucus and primary free month. Whew.
August will be when the GOP meets in Tampa, Florida to pick their standard bearers. Depending on the outcomes of the first six months of the year, it may be the most “must watch” TV of any election year. If no candidate has a clear majority, a brokered convention is possible. (not probable, but possible).
Following quickly on the heels of the Republican Convention, Democrats will gather in Charlotte North Carolina to nominate Barack Obama for a run at a second term.
September and October will have television ad execs looking for their hearty Christmas bonuses.
The election will be November 6th.
Then we’re either getting ready for Christmas or the end of the world.
Welcome to 2012.