It’s crunch time for Iowa Republicans who’re struggling to retain first-in-the-nation status for Iowa’s Caucuses. There are two competing plans for setting the dates for republican primaries and caucuses in the year 2004. One is called the Deleware plan. It’s a schedule of regional primaries — and Iowa and New Hampshire and not first in that scenario. The other plan is touted by big states unhappy that the Delaware plan schedules most big state voting at the end of the presidential campaign season, when a nominee has usually emerged and there’s no contest. Their alternative is called the Ohio plan, and it preserves Iowa’s status as the first Caucus state. Former Iowa Republican Party chair Steve Roberts serves on the Rules Committee of the Republican National Committee. Roberts says the Rules Committee will begin meeting July 26th, and Roberts can’t predict the outcome.Some Iowa Republicans complain George W. Bush hasn’t publicly insisted Iowa remain first. By contrast, Vice President Al Gore sent a campaign representative to the Democrat’s Rules meeting who insisted that Iowa’s Caucuses be first in the nation.
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