A potential Southern Super Tuesday with as many seven states voting near the start of the presidential primary calendar could become a pivotal moment in the 2016 GOP nomination battle.
Georgia’s secretary of state is leading an effort to hold a regional primary on March 1 next year that could include Texas and Florida, the nation’s second- and third-most-populous states. Non-Southern states also could hold elections that day.
The timetable could boost candidates who can afford expensive media markets and who have ties to the region, among them former Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio , both of Florida, and Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. Mr. Bush and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul , another likely candidate, also have family ties in Texas that could prove advantageous.
For their rivals, that could add to the importance of winning the earlier and less-costly contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada—states sanctioned by the national parties to lead off the nominating process.
Texas’ likely vote on March 1 would be one of the biggest changes from 2012, when a court battle over redistricting pushed it to the tail end of the nominating process.
Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp said Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas are on board to join his state for a March 1 primary, “giving the South more bang for our buck.”