PA May Move Up The 2016 Presidential Primary

white-house-north-2007-djPennsylvania is a key state when it comes to presidential general elections.

When it comes to primaries, however, PA usually takes a backseat in importance.

Some state Republicans are looking to change that.

Drawing inspiration from the Obama-Clinton contest that captured national attention in 2008, they want the Keystone State to have a say in who the GOP nominee is. It’s unlikely, though, that a primary contest will stay so competitive into April again.

Therefore, according to James O’Toole of the Post-Gazette, State Rep. Keith Greiner is sponsoring a resolution to move PA’s 2016 GOP primary into March.

Each party restricts states from scheduling an election before March 1st. This is done in order to give Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada the first say in the race. A number of Southern states are positioning themselves on March 1st in what observers are already calling the “SEC Primary”.

If Pennsylvania moved to March 15th, they would share the date with other large states like Florida, Illinois and Missouri. Such a lineup would potentially make that Tuesday a pivotal point in the GOP presidential primary.

The only problem? Party leaders don’t support it.

“I have not been supportive of changing the primary date because of the way it affects so many other people,” said PA GOP Chair Rob Gleason. “You’d have to change the date of for petition circulation…You’d be circulating petitions in January and February. I’ve always kind of resisted that.”

“I see no reason right now to change it, from the Democratic side,” Democratic party Chairman Jim Burn stated. “It throws everything out of whack; people are going to have to start a very complex series of events during the holidays…The costs and the complications far outweigh any benefits.”

Still, Representative Greiner remains optimistic.

“I have bipartisan support for this already,” Rep. Greiner responded. “I think I have more Democrats supporting this than Republicans right now. I think it would be advantageous; [it] does create a buzz in the state. There’s an economic benefit to the state as well.”

5 Responses

  1. Why does the PA GOP think this would make a difference? None of the Republican candidates can beat Hillary.

  2. Rank and File you are exactly correct, who wants to canvas for petition signitures at Christmas? How about a national primary day or maybe a regional primary day, would that make anyone happy? I guess not in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

  3. Leave it where it is, so the citizens do not have a say in who the nominee is going to be for either party. And while we are at it, the voter turnout will go down because why vote, it does not matter anyway. I am sure there are some smart people that can figure out a way to get signatures or change the dates to get locals on the ballot.

  4. Sure Republicans, let’s further discourage public participation in elections by making non-presidential candidates and their volunteers trudge around getting petition signatures even earlier in the snow, sleet, and frigid temperatures of a Pennsylvania winter! Why not move the dates around so people can go out collecting signatures on Christmas Day? I’m sure people would love knocking on doors for signatures instead of enjoying the holidays.

    Looks to me like yet another ploy for incumbent GOP old boys in the General Assembly to hold on to their jobs long past their “best by” date, rather than allowing voters to clean up the pantry down there in Harrisburg.

  5. Yes why should PA have a say in the nominee? Keep it in April so we have little to no say. Let’s leave it up to the sparsely populated states of Iowa and New Hampshire and Nevada.

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