Primary-Creep May Have Unanticipated Consequences

The recent primary-creep has resulted in a number of deleterious effects. In order to keep their caucus before the New Hampshire primary, Iowa might be forced to move their caucus to either just after New Year’s Day or even into December. This could create havoc as the final days of the campaign would then be over the holidays when voters are less interested. Pollsters also dread having to take polls at such times when less people are home, possibly causing the final polls to be taken a week before caucus. Primary-creep is also creating battles between the Democratic National Committee and the states which are moving up their primaries.

If Iowa winds up moving their caucus into December there is yet another potential consequence. As election law is written assuming an election cycle takes place during the same calendar year, candidates might be able to raise money for any December 2007 events and then start over with a new $2,300 limit for the 2008 primaries.

Under federal law, candidates can raise up to $2,300 from donors for primary elections and another $2,300 for the general election. Because the presidential nominating process requires numerous state primaries and caucuses, federal law states: “All elections held in any calendar year for the office of the president of the United States (except for the general election for such office) shall be considered to be one election.”

In short, a strict reading of the law means the contribution limits apply only to primaries and caucuses held in 2008. If a state moves its primary or caucus to 2007, it could mean a whole new cycle.

This will certainly keep the lawyers busy. It is unclear if the FEC has the authority to issue an interpretation which would consider a December caucus to be part of the 2008 election cycle or if Congress would be required to act.

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2 Comments

  1. 1
    daveinboca says:

    he Democrats may be writing off Florida and the South, in their apparent quest to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, a feat they’ve accomplished in ‘68, ‘80, ‘00 and probably will continue to do as they drift into anarchic hysteria.

    Aided by the leftermost hyperventilators like KKKos and Puffington Host, the Dems will get a Politburo/PoliticalCommissariat type political culture very soon now, unless adults take the wheel from the feverish hands of Dr. Howard Dean and his apparatchiki!

    Will Rogers said it eighty years ago and it’s still true. “I belong to no organized political party……..”

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    Dave,

    At this point it is not clear what the impact in Florida will be. You could be right, but I suspect a compromise will be reached well before it becomes an issue of concern to the general voting public.

    1968 was a close one, and elements on the left didn’t help. If you are referring the the Nader vote, then the left also did contribute to the defeat, however it also took the Republicans going to the Supreme Court to block recounts. I’m not sure why you’d include 1980. That one worked to Reagan’s advantage.

    “KKKos”? I’ve had my disagreements with Kos but see far more elements of both the KKK and Soviet style government control under the Repubicans than from Kos.

    You can’t have it both ways. The Democrats can’t be both exercising Soviet style control (which is more applicable to the Republicans) and at the same time not be an organized political party in the Will Rogers sense.

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