Arizona Moves Up Primary Date. Let the Chaos Begin.

Gov. Jan BrewerJack Kurtz/Zuma


The race to hold early Republican presidential primary contests is heating up. The Arizona Republic reports that Gov. Jan Brewer (R) issued a proclamation on Monday declaring that the state will hold its GOP presidential primary on February 28 of next year. Brewer’s decision breaks national party rules mandating that only Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada can schedule their contests before March 6.

Last month, Kate Sheppard broke down the race to the front of the calendar:

The Iowa caucuses, which traditionally start the presidential primary calendar, are currently scheduled for February 6. The current tentative calendar from the Republican National Committee would put New Hampshire’s primary on February 14, Nevada’s on February 18, and South Carolina’s on February 28. Super Tuesday—the biggest primary day by far—would then fall on March 6. In 2008, 24 states held their primaries on that day.

This year, though, Arizona and Florida are threatening to throw the whole calendar into chaos by to moving their dates forward. Florida has currently penciled in their primary for January 31, though that could change, based on a decision by the state’s “Presidential Preference Primary Date Selection Committee.” The committee is required to issue its determination by October 1. Arizona is also considering a January 31 primary, though the governor must announce a decision by Friday. If the states do decide to skip ahead of Iowa and New Hampshire, they risk sanctions from the national party for jumping the queue.

As Kate also reported, these sanctions will probably be ignored. Iowa and New Hampshire will just move up their caucus and primary dates. Being number one—the focus of international political and media attention, as well as advertising and campaign money—is just too sweet to give up without a fight.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.