Iowa Sets Caucuses for Jan. 3
December vote looking likelier for NH
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 18, 2011 4:37 AM CDT
People wait in line to enter a caucus site at Lovejoy Elementary January 3, 2008 in Des Moines, Iowa.    (Getty Images)

(Newser) – New Hampshire can vote whenever it wants, but Iowa will definitely hold its Republican caucuses Jan. 3, the state's Republican chairman has announced. New Hampshire is now the only state yet to announce its presidential nominating contest date, and it has threatened to move its primary to December in response to Nevada's shift to Jan. 14. New Hampshire may now be the first in the nation to vote, a change that could upend the entire Republican race.

Iowa's caucuses had originally been set for Feb. 6, but—as state GOP officials were keen to point out—Florida's decision to break party rules and move its primary ahead has made a mess of the entire nominating calendar. Iowa GOP Central Committee member Drew Ivers tells Politico he likes the date. “It’s kind of like the last bus out of town if you want to be in 2012." If New Hampshire wants to vote in 2012, he says, officials will probably either have to come to an agreement with Nevada, or ditch their tradition of voting on a Tuesday.