Florida Pushing GOP Primary Vote To Jan. 31, Could Lose Half Their Delegates

Florida officials on Friday officially announced that the GOP primary in the state has been pushed to January 31. The state’s primary committee made the announcement and argued that battleground states like Florida should be heard earlier in the process.

One state senator told the St. Petersburg Times

“This is about getting the most Floridians involved at the earliest possible time.”

Critics of the move say the early vote will end up decreasing Florida’s influence since they are likely to lose half of their delegates to the Republican National Convention for snubbing party rules.

Iowa GOP chairman Matt Strawn criticized the committees actions when speaking with the Orlando Sentinel:

“The state deserves whatever punishment the national party hands down.”

Strawn also announced that Iowa would vote “as early as necessary” to ensure that they retain their “first in the states” to vote position. Iowa has long been seen as the political barometer for election cycles.

Here’s the full letter Strawn published to the Politico:

“The arrogance shown by Florida’s elected leadership is disappointing, but not surprising. Equally troubling is to see this petulant behavior rewarded with our national convention. The consequences of Florida’s intransigence must be swift and severe, including the refusal by the RNC to credential or seat any member of Florida’s presidential primary date commission at the 2012 RNC convention in Tampa.

“Regarding the timing of the First in the Nation Iowa Caucuses, Iowa will remain first. Consistent with tradition, the final Iowa Caucus date will be announced once New Hampshire sets the date of its First in the Nation Primary.”

Do you think Florida should be pushing their primary around just to “be heard first.”