4 Midwestern states get in early on choice of presidential nominee

Stateline Midwest Vol. 20, No. 11: November 2011

As it does once every four years, Iowa’s presidential caucus will kick off the run for the White House (on Jan. 3 in 2012).

But that state isn’t the only one in the Midwest expected to determine the Republican nominee for president. Other early primaries and caucuses have been scheduled in this region as well.

Under a bill signed into law in October (SB 584), Michigan’s presidential primary was set for Feb. 28 — a week before “Super Tuesday,” which includes North Dakota’s Republican caucus. The move, Gov. Rick Snyder told The Holland Sentinel, “helps ensure Michigan is relevant in the selection process.”

However, by setting its primary date ahead of March 6, Michigan is also non-compliant with Republican Party rules and risks losing half of its convention delegates, according to Davidson College professor Josh Putnam, who tracks news on presidential primaries through the blog Frontloading HQ.

Minnesota is the region’s other early primary/caucus state, with the Republican caucus set for Feb. 7. Here are the other dates in the Midwest: March 10, Kansas caucus; March 20, Illinois primary; April 3, Wisconsin primary; May 8, Indiana primary; May 15, Nebraska primary; June 5, South Dakota primary; and June 12, Ohio primary.