Matt Strawn, the chairman of the Iowa Republican party, announced the 2012 Iowa caucuses will be held on January 3, moving up from the planned February 6 date. From the press release:
“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,” said Strawn. “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.”
Iowa’s precinct caucuses, which occur at over 1,700 precinct locations across the Hawkeye state, are best-known for the presidential preference poll that occurs along with traditional party organizing activities such as the election of precinct committeemen and platform discussions.
Strawn noted that the decision to hold the precinct caucuses on January 3 mirrored the decision made by Iowa Republican and Democrat officials during the 2008 presidential cycle when Iowa held the First in the Nation Caucuses on January 3 and New Hampshire held the First in the Nation Primary on January 8, 2008.
Strawn also chastised the recent decisions by Florida and Nevada to hold their respective primary and caucuses earlier than planned. "I will do everything in my power on the RNC to hold Florida accountable for creating this mess, but the culpability for creating a compressed January calendar does not end there," Strawn said. "The actions of early state newcomer Nevada have also exacerbated this problem and unnecessarily crowded the January calendar. Time remains for Nevada to respect the process, honor tradition and rectify the problem in a way that will restore order to the nomination calendar."