We begin our presidential election process way too early. When Rick Perry announced his candidacy at the beginning of last month, pundits call his a late entry — even though he joined the field fifteen months before the general election.
Now, with reports that Florida “officials are likely to choose Jan. 31 as the date for the state’s 2012 presidential primary“, we’re likely to see a “land rush among other early voting states to move the timing of their own contests forward in an already front-loaded GOP primary schedule.”
Over at the Washington Examiner, Conn Carroll posts “a possible primary schedule” should the Sunshine State settle on the January date, with Iowa hosting its caucuses on Monday, January 2, and the New Hampshire primary just eight days later. People will hardly have time to recover from New Year’s festivities — or even to take down their Christmas decorations before the politicking begins.
This won’t give Republicans in the early voting states much chance to review the candidates. And makes it more difficult for someone entering the race at the same time in this cycle as Bill Clinton did in the 1992 cycle to make his case to voters before they start preparations for the holidays.
It should be a rule that no state can start its delegate selection process until March 4 of the election year. And yeah, we do need to consider why Iowa and New Hampshire insist on being, respectively, the first caucus and first primary in the nation.