Michigan Set To Move Up To Jan. 15
by Todd Beeton, Fri Aug 17, 2007 at 12:40:54 PM EDT
Chuck Todd is confirming that Michigan looks set to officially move its primary up to January 15.
According to sources inside both parties, the two state parties in Michigan have agreed to move the state's primary -- legislatively -- to Jan. 15. This is a compromise date out of respect for Democratic Sen. Carl Levin, who really wanted to move the primary to Jan. 8. Others wanted the primary on Jan. 22 as a way to, essentially, play ball with the other early states. There was a nice window being created for a Jan. 22, 2008 event. But by moving to Jan. 15, this will put pressure on the other early states to either entertain a December event or lobby the two national parties to not sanction Michigan at all.
The state senate is going to move a bill next week and it will be legislatively driven; the state will pay for the primary, not the two parties.
I guess this will pretty much lock New Hampshire in on January 8. A couple questions remain.
First, when will Iowa hold its caucus? Iowa has a law that its caucus must be at least 8 days prior to any other state's contest. As Jerome says below, if Iowa is truly determined to remain in 2008, they may just change that law and move somewhere during that first week of January, a move that will likely make new Hampshire's head explode.
The next question is whom does this help? The South Carolina GOP's recent move of its primary up to January 19 was widely seen as favorable to Fred Thompson who is polling strongly there. On the contrary, a July poll has Thompson tied for third in Michigan, with Giuliani ahead. Assuming these trends continue, will Michigan dilute the impact of South Carolina and give Giuliani a boost at Thompson's expense or will South Carolina still be seen as the prime mid-January GOP prize? And of course, what about poor Nevada? On the Democratic side, will Michigan now emerges as the post-New Hampshire destination rather than Nevada? The same July poll has Clinton ahead by 7 in Michigan. Will we see more attention given to the state by Obama and particularly Edwards, as Michigan is a state where one can easily see more of an economic populist message taking off?
Update [2007-8-17 17:42:23 by Todd Beeton]: How could I forget this much more recent Detroit News/WXYZ-TV poll.
Democrats (w/o Gore):
Clinton 45Republicans (w/Thompson and Gingrich):
Thompson 22Thompson is doing quite well here actually and could potentially get a real mid-January boost even if he's unable to take Iowa and New Hampshire. Interestingly, the new Nevada poll has Romney 10 points up over Thompson and Giuliani who are tied. The one-two punch of South Carolina and Michigan is looking like a real speed bump for Romney.