The Iowa caucuses will be Jan. 3, state Republican Chairman Matt Strawn announced after a Monday evening conference call of the Iowa GOP’s Central Committee that set the date.
The announcement leaves New Hampshire as the last state to announce the date of its presidential nominating contest. Iowa went forward with setting its date without waiting for New Hampshire, its traditional partner at the beginning of the presidential calendar to set its own.
The result could upend the primary calendar by pushing New Hampshire’s date into December — potentially reverberating into the calculus of the nomination itself. Iowa is usually the first vote of the season, followed by New Hampshire, but now New Hampshire may go first.
“On behalf of over 600,000 Iowa Republicans, I’m excited to announce the first step Iowans will have to replace Barack Obama and his failed presidency will be next January 3 at our First in the Nation Iowa Caucuses,” Strawn said in an Iowa GOP press release. “A January 3 date provides certainty to the voters, to our presidential candidates, and to the thousands of statewide volunteers who make the Caucus process a reflection of the very best of our representative democracy.”
Much weighs on the calendar and the order in which the early states choose their candidates. Rick Perry, Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann have, largely, bet their campaigns on performing well in Iowa’s caucuses and using that momentum to catapult them through the other early states.