Nevada bows to pressure, pushes caucus to February 4

By Reuters
Saturday, October 22, 2011 16:27 EDT
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Nevada Republican Party pushed the date of its presidential caucus back to February 4, bowing under pressure not to undermine the New Hampshire primary that has traditionally been one of the first key contests for presidential contenders.

The state party voted to move the caucus from January 14, Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement. The switch eliminates a conflict with the New Hampshire primary, which is due to take place in early January.

Nevada and New Hampshire are among four states authorized by the Republican National Committee to hold the first contests on the road to choosing a nominee to face Democratic President Barack Obama in the November 2012 election.

However, Nevada Republicans pushed up their caucus by more than a month after Florida bumped ahead its primary in a move that left the nominating process in turmoil.

Nevada’s move irked New Hampshire, which traditionally holds its primary before Nevada’s caucus. Under current plans, Iowa is tentatively scheduled to hold its first-in-the-nation caucus on January 3.

(Reporting by Mark Felsenthal; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

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