Iowa Sets Date for Caucuses

Posted October 17, 2011 at 8:21pm

The Iowa Republican Party will hold its caucuses on Jan. 3, according to the Des Moines Register.

The party’s central committee voted unanimously tonight in favor of the date, the newspaper reported. The caucuses were held on the same date in 2008.

National Republican officials originally planned for the presidential primaries to kick off later in 2012 until Florida jumped the line and scheduled its primary for Jan. 31. As a result, the primary election calendar was thrown into disarray and the traditional first states to host contests moved their election dates into January. Many feared that Florida’s move would force the Iowa caucuses into December.

The move leaves only New Hampshire to announce the date of its first-in-the-nation primary. The other early states, Nevada and South Carolina, have scheduled their contests for Jan. 14 and 21, respectively.

Matt Strawn, the chairman of Iowa’s Republican Party, blamed Nevada as well as Florida for meddling with the early voting schedule.

“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,” he said in a statement, according to the Register.

“The actions of early state newcomer Nevada have also exacerbated this problem and unnecessarily crowded the January calendar. 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.”

Shira Toeplitz contributed to this report.