When we last had occasion to speak about the chaotic state of the 2012 primary calendar, the state of Arizona, under the direction of Governor Jan Brewer, had decided to move their primary up to February 28, 2012. That decision -- in violation of Republican National Committee guidelines that stipulated that Arizona was not allowed to have its primary before March 6 -- earned the ire of of the South Carolina GOP, which wasn't to keen on sharing its extra-special early primary date with an interloper.
At the time, it was easy to imagine that other states might follow Arizona's example and mount their own challenges to the sanctity of the dates accorded to Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. "Florida comes to mind," I warned.
Florida is now expected to hold its presidential primary on the last day in January 2012, a move likely to throw the carefully arranged Republican nominating calendar into disarray and jumpstart the nominating process a month earlier than party leaders had hoped.
Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon told CNN on Tuesday that a state commission exploring potential primary dates is likely to choose January 31 to hold the nominating contest.
If that happens, it would almost certainly force the traditional early states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada to leapfrog Florida and move their primaries and caucuses into early- to mid-January.