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Primary fallout

"Primary fallout" Continued...

Issue: "A mighty fortress is our sect," Oct. 20, 2007

In the meantime, Democratic presidential candidates' trips to Florida to raise cash can become awkward. When Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) faced local reporters on his way to a fundraiser in St. Petersburg, Fla., last month, he refused to answer questions, saying: "I'm not allowed to talk to the press, guys."

The roads most traveled

A shuffled primary calendar has presidential candidates crisscrossing the country

Democratic presidential candidates may be ignoring Florida for the moment, but they're maintaining frantic schedules in other key states. So are Republicans. Here's a glance at states to watch with early primaries and caucuses.

Iowa: Iowa is currently scheduled to hold its caucuses on Jan. 14, but officials may move the date to Jan. 3 in order to maintain Iowa's first-in-the-nation caucus position. (Wyoming recently moved its Republican caucus to Jan. 5, throwing Iowa's original schedule into question.)

Presidential candidates have visited Iowa more than 1,300 times since January. In general elections, the state typically goes to the Democratic candidate, but President George W. Bush captured Iowa in 2004.

New Hampshire: New Hampshire typically holds the first primary in the nation, but hasn't yet announced the date of its 2008 contest. Officials say they are waiting for the shifting primary calendar to settle before announcing the final date.

Independents outnumber Republicans and Democrats in the state. Bush won the state in 2000. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) won in 2004.

Michigan: Michigan threw next year's primary schedule into confusion when it announced it would move up its date to Jan. 15. The Democratic National Convention vowed to strip the state of its delegates to next year's convention (along with Florida's delegates) for holding its primary before Feb. 5.

Four Democratic candidates-John Edwards, Barack Obama, Bill Richardson, and Joe Biden-announced this month that they would withdraw from Michigan's contest, protesting the state's violation of national party rules.

South Carolina: South Carolina Republicans will hold their primary on Jan. 19. The state's Democrats will follow on Jan. 29. Republicans moved their primary up from February in order to maintain their first-in-the-South primary position after Florida announced its Jan. 29 contest.

South Carolina is a Republican stronghold. The last Democrat the state supported in a general election was former president Jimmy Carter in 1976. Next year's primary may test Republican unity in South Carolina as the state's social conservatives grapple with which candidate to support.

Jamie Dean
Jamie Dean

Jamie lives and works in North Carolina, where she covers the national political beat and other topics as news editor for WORLD. Follow Jamie on Twitter @deanworldmag.

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