Party treasurer David Buell told The Associated Press Wednesday that Nevada plans to hold its caucuses the Saturday after New Hampshire’s contest. Nevada is scheduled to host its third-in-the-nation caucuses on Feb. 18, but that date is expected to move up now that Florida and Missouri insist on hosting contests in late January and early February.
Nevada will follow the lead of the original early contest states, New Hampshire and Iowa, Buell said. The change would give party leaders less time to pull off its largest event ever.
“It leaves us scrambling to get it all done sooner,” Buell said.
It also would mean the candidates would have a smaller window of time to travel to Nevada and court voters — if they come at all. Nevada’s say in the nomination process could carry less weight if multiple states hold contests in the same month. Most of the candidates have already bypassed Nevada to spend time in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida, but party leaders had hoped the traffic would increase as the caucus date drew closer.
Nevada Democrats haven’t made a decision to change their same-day caucuses, said spokesman Zach Hudson. President Barack Obama’s nomination is considered a lock.
Florida Republicans announced Friday that the state will likely host its presidential primary on Jan. 31. Missouri has set its primary for Feb. 7.
The national GOP wants only South Carolina, Nevada, Iowa and New Hampshire to hold their contests before March 6.