To be fair, early primaries and caucuses have the effect of giving potential nominees momentum to win other states primaries. That in turn typically means an early win is the deciding factor for the nomination, but not always.
This week Nevada election officials chose January 14th as their primary day, which not only jumps over New Hampshire but also Florida's new date as well putting them first on the list.
In a show of unity, several GOP candidates boycott the Nevada primary. Nevada's current primary date is slated for Jan 14th, which is ahead of New Hampshire.
Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Michelle Backman and Jon Huntsman are pledging to boycott the Nevada caucuses because the state is daring New Hampshire to consider scheduling its first-in-the-nation primary in December.
From Fox News -- "Nevada's move has potentially forced the other early states to have primary's near Christmas - and that destroys the primary process,” Santorum said. “I firmly believe that we must protect New Hampshire, the other early primary states and the proven presidential primary process.
New Hampshire's Secretary of State William Gardner wants Nevada to move its primary back from January 14, and is threatening to Hold the Granite State's primary as early as Dec. 6.
Someone is Missing
Notice Anyone Missing? Yes the lead candidates ... Rick Perry, Herman Cain, and Mitt Romney.
In a statement made to the AP Rick Perry hopes the matter will be resolved before he needs to make a decision. Romney also stated that he is a firm believer in upholding New Hampshires claim as first in the nation, but has remained neutral on the Nevada boycott and intends to go. Quoting ... "It is up to each state to determine the date of their primary or caucus." -- Romney Spokesman Ryan Williams.
Also notice, not one candidate has spoken out against Florida taking the first spot when they announced Jan 31st.
Does it Matter?
Well in a nutshell, yes. Establishing a clear leader earlier on would allow that person to then have much more time to concentrate on getting elected against President Obama, plus more fund raising events to comete against Obama. The momentum could carry on into other primaries as well. But is Neveda the state to do this in? No not at all.
First, Nevada was a clear win for Obama during 2008, and in 2010 while democrats suffered many losses, they still held onto Harry Reid in Nevada. Reid did this by concerted effort (political promises) on the part of the unions in Las Vegas. So I believe the election atmosphere in Nevada is tainted and slanted against the GOP. We could potentially have another McCain moment; having our candidate chosen for us even though it probably will not be the right pick.
Keep New Hampshire?
I don't like that either. New Hampshire has also been tainted, but not by political favors, but by the media attention focusing on New Hampshire and therefore the voters have lost their "Un-Biased" claim to be independent thinkers.
I like Florida being first. Their demographics have a bit of everything, from all walks of life, all ethnicities, all races and all religions. What more can you ask for if you are looking for a representation of the nation.
Candidate Boycott Nevada - USA Today
Candidates Boycott Nevada - Foxnews
GOP Split on Boycott - CNN