The Republican National Committee is asking Nevada to move its primary to Feb. 4 from Jan. 14.
Ahead of the Nevada Republican Party's Central Committee meeting tomorrow, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus wrote a letter to the Nevada GOP Chairwoman Amy Tarkanian, requesting the change.
It's an effort to end the standoff between New Hampshire -- which hasn't set its primary date and has threatened to go as early as December -- and Nevada.
"After much consideration and many conversations with you and other Republican stakeholders," Priebus wrote in a letter dated Oct. 20, 2011, "I hope you will consider holding the Nevada Republican Party caucuses on Saturday, February 4th."
Priebus notes that he was in Las Vegas this week speaking with Tarkanian. And he takes a swipe at New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner, who has unilateral control over moving the Granite State's date, as well as the Florida GOP.
"I realize you were put in this position because of the actions of other states, and I fully appreciate you consideration of abiding by the Rules put in place by the RNC as they relate to the four carveout states. A February 4th caucus date will eliminate the uncertainty caused by Florida's actions and the posturing of New Hampshire's secretary of state...."
Priebus argues that Feb. 4 "would be a far more prominent place on the primary calendar." He argues that while Wyoming went early in 2008, Jan. 5, they "went largely unnoticed."
He continued, "It seems unlikely that Nevada will get the attention it deserves if it is wedged in between the states that historically have been first. ... For a period of four weeks, Nevada will be the only game in town."
Priebus also wrote, "I believe that the uncertainty of the calendar and related drama is tainting all of the carveout states. The only way to end this uncertainty and drama is for Nevada to move to February 4th and restore the orderliness of the calendar."
We noted that something was afoot in First Thoughts this morning:
The Las Vegas Sun: “National Republicans … have been trying to strike a deal with Nevada. In exchange for moving its caucuses back to early February, it would be assured to be third in the nation in 2016 — even though that’s what Nevada was supposed to be guaranteed in the 2012 cycle. At first, state officials and top GOP brass bristled at the idea that Nevada accommodate the vagaries of New Hampshire state law. But now the tone is decidedly different. ‘I hope we reach a resolution that’s mutually beneficial to the candidates, the state of Nevada and the Republican Party,’ [Gov. Brian] Sandoval said, intimating that he trusted the RNC to do right by Nevada in the future.’” The Nevada GOP is set to meet to discuss this issue, per the Las Vegas Review-Journal.