10/06/2011 11:02 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2011

Nevada's Primary Move Makes December GOP Contests More Likely

News broke last night that GOP officials in the state of Nevada, as expected, moved up the date of that state's "first-in-the-West" caucuses from their original February 18 date. Coming on the heels of Florida's decision to plant their primary flag on January 31, Nevada's move was anticipated. The date they chose, January 14, now pushes Iowa and New Hampshire to the brink of what Josh Putnam calls, "the doomsday scenario": in which the first contest of the 2012 race happens in 2011.

Putnam, as readers may know, writes the FrontloadingHQ blog, which is an ace source of information and insight into the process of the 2012 election -- especially this GOP primary season. Putnam says that all eyes are on New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner, and what he does next. In all likelihood, Saturday, January 7 is the latest possible date New Hampshire will hold their primary. But there's a good chance that New Hampshire will opt for a Tuesday primary on January 3. Putnam notes: "The former allows Iowa to slide into a January 2 or 3 date while the latter forces Iowa into December."

But here's where we blow up the world, ladies and gentlemen:

I'll throw out one more scenario. Now that we are at the threshold of 2011 primaries, why not? If New Hampshire, and more importantly its position on the calendar, is likely to face increased scrutiny because of this move, why not go down in a blaze of glory? Why not go out Thelma and Louise style with Iowa in December? And not late, holiday season December. FHQ is talking about that always-considered-completely-ridiculous-Florida-on-January-3 scenario with Iowa on December 5 and New Hampshire eight days later on December 13.

Iowa on January 3 and New Hampshire on January 7 may be more likely, but I'm not ready to discount December scenarios -- even the doomsday scenario -- just yet.

I'll admit it: there's a perverse part of me that wants to see just how bad things will get.

Nevada Republican Caucuses Set for January 14 [FHQ]

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