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Why Do State Lawmakers Want To Delay The Presidential Primary?

State lawmakers want to push the date for presidential primaries back.
Erik Hersman via Flickr

This time next year, Florida could be just gearing up for its presidential primary rather than just taking down the bunting under a bill approved Thursday by the Senate Rules committee.  The move is meant to maximize the state’s influence in selecting nominees.

March is primary season.  And for candidates chasing their party’s nomination, there aren’t enough hours in the day to campaign.  And that’s prompted Republicans like Sen. Garrett Richter (R-Naples) to call for pushing the date back.

“On the third Tuesday in March of each presidential election year, which has the immediate effect of moving the primary in 2016 from March 1 to March 15,” Richter says.

But it’s not just about giving candidates two extra weeks.  Currently, Republican Party rules would force Florida’s delegates to be awarded proportionally if the primary is held before March 15.  But by waiting, the delegates can be assigned as winner-take-all—making Florida a larger prize, and the thinking goes, pushing candidates to respond to the concerns of Florida voters.  

Nick Evans came to Tallahassee to pursue a masters in communications at Florida State University. He graduated in 2014, but not before picking up an internship at WFSU. While he worked on his degree Nick moved from intern, to part-timer, to full-time reporter. Before moving to Tallahassee, Nick lived in and around the San Francisco Bay Area for 15 years. He listens to far too many podcasts and is a die-hard 49ers football fan. When Nick’s not at work he likes to cook, play music and read.