Wisconsin Changes Presidential Primary Date

10/1/11 – Wisconsin voters will go back to choosing their party’s White House nominees in April instead of mid-February. Governor Scott Walker signed a bill yesterday (Fr) that moves the state’s presidential primaries back to the first Tuesday in April, the same day as the local general elections. Both national parties asked Wisconsin to make the change, because too many states were bunching up their primaries-and-caucuses earlier in the year. But Florida decided yesterday to move its primary up to January 31st – and that’s expected to cause other states to move up their White House votes as well. Walker’s office did not comment on the Florida move. Wisconsin moved its primaries to mid-February in 2004, in an effort to make them more important nationally and get more White House candidates to show up here. It did not work as well as planned. The 2004 Wisconsin primaries were most notable for convincing Democrat Howard Dean to drop out of the race. In 2008, both parties’ contests were pretty well decided by the time the Wisconsin vote rolled around. The new primary date will put the Badger State in about the middle of the national selection process.