Nevada won't change caucus date despite NH complaints - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Nevada won't change caucus date despite NH complaints

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LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

Nevada Republican Party officials tell FOX5 the Silver State will hold its presidential caucus Jan. 14, despite being blamed for messing up the states' traditional order in picking a presidential nominee.

Although the finger-pointing between the states seems ridiculous to some, there's also political capital at stake, said political analyst Dan Hart.

"Everybody wants to be first," said Hart. "Everybody wants to be near the front of process so that the decision isn't made and their election isn't relevant."

New Hampshire Secretary of State William Gardner sent a letter to Nevada's GOP demanding Nevada change its caucus date.

"Right now, the problem is the date of Nevada," wrote Gardner. "We will respond as we need to in order to honor New Hampshire's tradition, and to keep our primary relevant. If Nevada does not accept a date of Tuesday, Jan. 17 or later for its caucus, it leaves New Hampshire no choice but to consider December of this year. " 

Gardner's letter places no blame on Florida or Iowa, whose date selections have narrowed New Hampshire's primary option.

Originally, the first four states to vote, including Nevada, picked February dates for primaries and caucuses. Then Florida moved its date to Jan. 31, causing the others to change their dates to January.

"It does add a certain amount of ridiculousness to the process here," Hart said. "People keep leapfrogging and jumping and changing things. It gives people a sense of uncertainty about the political process."

Despite the blame game, Nevada Republican Party officials went on with caucus training for volunteers tonight.

One volunteer asked whether issues raised by New Hampshire could alter Nevada's caucus, and a Nevada party leader assured him Nevadans will caucus Jan. 14.

Although Nevada is sticking to its guns tonight, Hart predicts there is a possibility the date could change one more time if the national Republican party steps in.

"I think that the Republican party needs to get a hold of this before it gets ridiculous," he said. "We could be having a primary next week for all we know."

Whatever decision is made will be further complicated by individual state and party rules. New Hampshire state law requires it to hold its primary at least seven days before other states.

Copyright FOX5 News 2011. All rights reserved.

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