Monday, September 10, 2007

GOP banks on early primaries

By Donald Lambro
Washington Times
9 September 2007

Six Democratic candidates, including Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois, signed a pledge not to campaign in the Florida and Michigan primaries after they were moved to prior to Feb. 5.

Republican presidential candidates hope their participation in the early primaries in Florida and Michigan will help them win the two states, which Democrats plan to avoid owing to party rules.

"We've had conversations with all the Republican presidential campaigns, and they said they will continue to campaign here," said Saul Anuzis, chairman of the Michigan Republican Party.

The Republicans' primary calendar rules, like those of the Democrats, prohibit scheduling any primary before Feb. 5, except for the four approved contests in Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina. But Republicans in Florida last month moved their state's primary up to Jan. 29. Last week, the Michigan Legislature moved that state's primary to Jan. 15.

"The Democrats are actually asking their candidates to boycott the primary and not campaign here, or they will take away 100 percent of their delegates in the state," Mr. Anuzis said. "Our rules say we will lose 50 percent of our delegates, but nobody in our party is talking about boycotting anything. They are coming in to campaign."




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