Gov. Huckabee’s appearance in Orlando last weekend took on all the more importance on Monday when Florida Gov. Crist signed into law a bill that moves Florida’s Presidential Primary from March to January 29th. This earlier primary will now require all the candidates for President to spend more time campaigning in the Sunshine State.
Although Gov. Huckabee’s strategy will most likely continue to include a laser focus on Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, we do hope to see him in Florida as much as possible. Here is some of the coverage of Florida’s earlier primary:
Florida bypasses other states to move up 2008 primary
The move puts Florida's primary, which had been scheduled for March, behind only the Iowa and Nevada caucuses and the New Hampshire primary and on the same day as South Carolina's Democratic primary. Florida has by far the largest population of any of the early voting states set for January and is the most expensive in which to campaign, giving well-funded candidates an even greater advantage and possibly drawing attention away from the smaller states.
State's '08 primary to be one of earliest
By moving Florida's 2008 presidential primary from its traditional March date to Jan. 29, the new law attempts to give the state more clout. The national Democratic and Republican parties have threatened to take away national convention delegates from Florida for setting a primary before Feb. 5. But Democrats and Republicans at Monday's bill-signing said the earlier date makes Florida a player in the presidential sweepstakes. "It will make our state much more relevant," said Jim Greer, chairman of the state Republican Party. "The loss of delegates is unfortunate, but it doesn't outweigh the benefit that Floridians will receive. ... Florida's always let other states dominate the process. This moves us forward."
Primary jumps to head of pack
The 2008 presidential calendar through Feb. 5:
• JAN. 14: Iowa caucus
• JAN. 22: New Hampshire primary
• JAN. 19: Nevada caucus
• JAN. 29: Florida primary, South Carolina primary (Democrats only)
• FEB. 5: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Utah primaries; Idaho and New Mexico caucuses (Democrats only)