Today California's movie star/governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law a bill that significantly changes the impact of their Presidential Primary.
Traditionally the California primary is held in June (previously scheduled for June 10, 2008), usually long after a candidate has locked up enough delegates to ensure his nomination at the party convention. Following the lead of other states who've choosen to move the date of their primary earlier in the schedule so their voters have a say in who gets chosen, CA has legislated that their primary will be held on February 5, 2008.
This year, many U.S. states are considering moving their primaries to February 5th, including other big states such as New Jersey, Florida, Missouri, Michigan and Texas. This is going to significantly impact the way candidates will campaign; I fully expect to see presidential hopefuls making frequent trips to the Golden State in the coming months.
Here's a look at the revised schedule for the early Democratic primaries and see how important California will be:
* January 14, 2008 - Iowa (caucus)
* January 19, 2008 - Nevada (caucus)
* January 22, 2008 - New Hampshire (primary)
* January 29, 2008 - South Carolina, Florida
* February 5, 2008 - Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Utah
UPDATE: Florida is threatening to move THEIR primary up even earlier than CA's. Something tells me the trend will be all the big states will move their primaries up to early January so they get the jump on New Hampshire.