Southern GOP ‘Super Tuesday’ could be a 2016 game-changer | MSNBC

26
May

Southern GOP ‘Super Tuesday’ could be a 2016 game-changer | MSNBC

If Southern Republican leaders get their way, the GOP electoral landscape could be radically altered in 2016 by moving up the primary dates for several southern states, creating a regional super primary to rival early voting states like Iowa and New Hampshire. The Southern “Super Tuesday” – nicknamed the “SEC Primary” after the Southeastern Conference in college athletics – would significantly increase the political clout of southern voters, creating a lifeline for the party’s more conservative candidates and a major roadblock for the Republican establishment.

Five of the largest Southern states – Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia – have already committed to participate, following a Republican National Committee rule change that allowed states to vote in caucuses or primaries as early as March 1, 2016. North Carolina’s date is up in the air and Louisiana will hold its primary on March 5.

[T]hese rules in combination with an SEC Primary could make it harder to ignore those “less well-known” conservative candidates, who would get to hang on longer and cobble together delegates for the nomination.

As a result, we could actually see four different winners emerge from each of those early contests, giving conservative candidates an advantage on Super Tuesday and Southern voters a strong say in who walks into Cleveland with an edge, if not the nomination itself.

Suddenly, the impact of an SEC Primary is real, and what it means for the large mix of GOP presidential contenders not insignificant.

With a six- or seven-state SEC Primary, several conservative candidates could find themselves well positioned to make a more-than-credible run for the nomination. Social conservative and evangelical voters could hand former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee more than a couple of notable wins (he performed well in 2008 caucus contests and won the Georgia primary). Social conservatives could also opt for longshot Dr. Ben Carson, who surprisingly tied for first place with Huckabee in a recent [] poll of Georgia GOP voters.

via Southern GOP ‘Super Tuesday’ could be a 2016 game-changer | MSNBC.

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