Nevada moves 2012 caucus to Jan. 14

The Nevada Republican Party announced Wednesday that it will hold its presidential caucus on Jan. 14, likely pushing the first votes of the 2012 election cycle into 2011.

“I’m extremely pleased to finally have a firm date for a caucus that will greatly improve Nevada’s standing and relevance in terms of national politics,” Nevada Republican Party Chairwoman Amy Tarkanian said. “By establishing this date, we maintain Nevada’s standing as one of the first four ‘carve-out’ states and as the very first in the west.”

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Last week, Florida made its plans to hold its Republican presidential primary on Jan. 31 official, setting off a reshuffling of the primary calendar as early states scramble to move up their contests to protect their cherished statuses.

Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, the four states permitted to hold contests prior to March 6, have all vowed to move their dates up to buck the Florida shift.

Two contests will be held before Nevada's caucus: Iowa's caucus comes first, then New Hampshire's first in the nation primary.

The vote in New Hampshire has to be seven days before Nevada, and that contest is traditionally held on a Tuesday, leaving Jan. 3 as the most likely date.

Because Iowa's contest comes a week before New Hampshire's, it will likely occur in December.

Florida's schedule-rattling decision makes it all but assured that the state will lose half of its delegates at the GOP National Convention — ironically being held next year in Tampa, Fla.