The state GOP did not announce a new date for its presidential primary today. Party leaders, in a press conference, did say two things: South Carolina will do all it can to stay first in the South with its primary election and that they are standing arm-in-arm with Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada to respond to Florida’s new date for its primary.
If Florida moves, the other three states will shift—together, says SCGOP Chairman Chad Connelly. In fact, the four states issued a joint statement today, expressing their solidarity against “rogue states” like Florida who are ignoring national party rules and choosing their own primary dates.
Iowa GOP Chairman Strawn said, “The four sanctioned, early states have been very clear that we will move together, if necessary, to ensure order as outlined in RNC rules. If we are forced to change our dates together, we will.”
AUDIO: Excerpt from today’s SCGOP press conference (9:00)
State party leaders say that they are prepared to suffer any consequences of moving the date into January (also against party rules), in order to stay the first Southern primary. Connelly says that RNC Chair Reince Priebus told him yesterday that “Your penalties may not be as harsh.”
“I told him…I’m going to pitch a hissy fit at the RNC meeting in January if we’re penalized at all,” said Connelly.