The Republican-controlled Michigan Senate has approved 1/15/08 as the date for some sort of primary event in that state, jumping it a week ahead of the 1/22/07 date when the New Hampshire primary was originally penciled onto the schedule. Such a move is expected to have repercussions further affecting the schedule, possibly moving the Iowa caucuses into late 2007. The Michigan House, controlled by Democrats, is still grappling with the date issue, and has not been able to agree if it wishes to hold an election or caucuses. The Democratic Party has sanctioned only four events for January, caucuses in Iowa and Nevada, and primaries in New Hampshire and South Carolina. DNC Chair Howard Dean has threatened severe sanctions, such as not counting results from any state that jumps in early. Although that can change, too, he expects the party’s rules committee to stick to the schedule and enforce the sanctions.
RBR observation: At least one candidate, Joe Biden (D-DE) is complaining that the rush to the front of the line is turning the primaries from a fair marketing of ideas – he called it a retail event – and into a battle of warchests. All we know is this is the craziest primary season we’ve ever witnessed, and we expect that is a viewpoint everyone paying even the slightest amount of attention would agree with. But hey, the January post-holiday blahs are always a tough sales time – if nothing else, broadcasters almost everywhere may get a serious boost from all this nonsense. Stay tuned.