The Nevada Republican Party will hold its 2024 presidential caucuses on February 8, the party announced Monday.
That date will make Nevada the third Republican presidential nominating contest after the Iowa caucuses, which are scheduled for January 15, and the New Hampshire primary, which doesn’t yet have an official date, but is expected to come after Iowa.
The South Carolina Republican primary will follow Nevada on February 24. This schedule would spread out the first four contests over six weeks, a drawn-out process that might make it more difficult for some candidates to maintain sufficient resources to make it from state to state.
The 2024 early-state line-up also marks a change from recent Republican calendars, when Nevada was the last of the four early states to vote before Super Tuesday – the first major day of primaries on the first Tuesday in March.
Next year, there are likely to be additional GOP nominating contests held before Super Tuesday on March 5.
The Michigan GOP is advancing a plan to split its nominating process between the state-run primary on February 27 and caucuses on March 2, although that plan would need special approval from the Republican National Committee to avoid sanctions.
Idaho Republicans are also planning caucuses on March 2, the first day most states are allowed to vote under national GOP rules. Republicans in the US Virgin Islands say they’re going to hold a caucus no later than March 2 but haven’t announced a final date.
Shane Goettle, the Republican national committeeman for North Dakota, told CNN on Monday that his state’s GOP presidential caucuses would be held on March 4.
Republican state parties are required to submit their plans to the RNC by October 1, so it’s possible even more states could hold contests before March 5.
According to the Nevada GOP, the state caucuses will begin at 5 p.m. local time, with absentee voting available only to active-duty military members and their dependents.
Nevada’s Republican caucus date is two days after the state-run presidential primary. Under a state law enacted in 2021, a primary contest will only be held if more than one candidate from a party files for the ballot, and Nevada GOP political director Alex Watson told CNN that candidates who participate in the primary won’t be eligible to participate in the caucuses or win delegates.
Even if a Republican presidential primary does take place in Nevada, it won’t be used for delegate allocation. However, Nevada Democrats will use the state-run primary to allocate their delegates.
The 2024 Republican nominating calendar is partly the result of changes Democrats are making to their own primary calendar.
Under the Democratic plan approved earlier this year, which was largely proposed by President Joe Biden, South Carolina would be the first approved nominating contest on February 3, followed by Nevada and New Hampshire on February 6, and Georgia and Michigan before Super Tuesday. But that calendar won’t entirely come to pass.
Iowa law requires its caucuses to be held before any other state, and the need to go before South Carolina Democrats is what pushed the Iowa Republican caucuses into January. Despite the state law, Democratic National Committee officials removed Iowa from the group of early states.
In response, the state party has proposed a plan under which it would hold caucuses on the same day as Republicans but would only use them to conduct party business, not to vote for president. The presidential preference vote would be a separate process, conducted entirely by mail.
However, Iowa Democrats haven’t specified the dates for that mail process, and without that information, the DNC rules panel declined to approve the plan at a recent meeting. Party staff said the vote-by-mail period must end on or after March 5 (the date when every state is allowed to start holding Democratic contests) in order for the plan to comply with party rules.
New Hampshire has a state law that requires its presidential primary to be held before any “similar election,” but a New Hampshire Democratic primary held before South Carolina would open the state party up to DNC penalties. The DNC rules panel has given the state party more time to comply.
Earlier this year, New Hampshire’s secretary of state, Republican David Scanlan, who is responsible for setting the date of the primary, said that the use of mail ballots in Iowa would trigger that Granite State law requiring it to hold the first presidential primary.
That could create another source of uncertainty on the primary calendar. But, according to Josh Putnam, a political scientist who writes about the primary process, that would only happen if Iowa Democrats choose to buck national party rules and schedule the mail voting period to end on caucus night (or any time before the New Hampshire primary).
Democrats in Nevada and Michigan will vote on the days assigned by the party plan, but Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, has scheduled his state’s primary for March 12 to avoid violating GOP rules.
This story has been updated with additional information.