“A deepening standoff between national Republicans and top party leaders in Florida has the potential to blow up the 2012 presidential primary calendar — and do lasting damage to the GOP in the nation’s largest swing state,”Politico reports.
“At issue is the early date of Florida’s presidential primary election, currently set for Jan. 31, 2012. As of right now, it’s the first primary scheduled. That’s in blatant violation of Republican and Democratic National Committee rules, which say only four states — Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada — can hold primary elections before the beginning of March.”
Ben Smith: “An early, expensive primary is probably good for Romney, the one candidate with enough of an organization in place that he may quietly be trying to affect the outcome. The other candidate who might have the influence to play in the calendar is Haley Barbour, though he chose the wrong side in the Florida primary, diminishing his influence there.”