To appease the political national parties, leaders of the Delaware Democratic and Republican parties are seeking to push the state’s 2012 presidential primary back by nearly three months to April 24.
The primary is slated for Feb. 7, but the two major political parties are pressuring states to hold later primaries to keep the focus on the traditionally early states, said John Daniello, chairman of the Delaware Democratic Party.
The Iowa caucuses are set for Feb. 6, followed by the New Hampshire primary on Feb. 14 and the Feb. 18 Nevada caucuses.
The April 24 date would coincide with Pennsylvania’s primary, allowing Republican presidential candidates to tap into the overlapping Philadelphia television market and potentially drop south to campaign in Delaware.
Republican leaders fear a later primary could render Delaware irrelevant on a presidential nominating calendar that can be a foregone conclusion by late April.
“Of course you run the risk that by April 24 it will all be over,” said Priscilla Rakestraw, Delaware’s Republican national committeewoman.
Changing the primary date requires approval by the General Assembly, which is dominated by Democrats in both chambers. State Sen. Michael Katz expects to introduce a date change bill this week.