In response to Florida’s decision to hold its presidential primary Jan. 31, Nevada Republicans voted Saturday to move up their caucuses and face the consequences of breaking party rules.
The caucuses will be held the Saturday following New Hampshire’s primary on a date to be determined, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. The move from Feb. 18 is meant to preserve Nevada’s status as one of the four early voting states, with Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
It will cost Nevada half of its 28 delegates at the presidential nominating convention in Tampa, Fla. Republican National Committee rules say that any state holding a binding presidential vote before Feb. 1 must give up that many delegates.
“We think the convention has become a bit of a formality,” former Nevada Gov. Robert List, a member of Nevada’s GOP executive board who voted to approve the move, told the Review-Journal. “Our nominee will be decided by then. Forfeiting a few delegates is not nearly as important as preserving the very important role Nevada has now as an early voting state.”
Florida moved its primary to Jan. 31 on Friday and will also lose half of its 99 delegates.
Roberta Lange, chairwoman of the Nevada Democratic Party, said Friday that the party also plans to move up its caucus date from Feb. 18 in response to Florida’s move. She said the new date would likely be in January.