The WSJ’s Chris Cooper makes a good point about early voting and its impact on the calendar:
But even before the official votes kick off in Iowa on Jan. 14, large numbers of voters around the country already will have cast their ballots, as major states encourage voting far in advance of election day.
Florida’s primary is now scheduled for Jan. 29, and about 20 states, including California, have moved theirs up to Feb. 5. Many of them also allow early voting weeks before their official balloting dates.
This early voting could dilute the traditional role played by Iowa and New Hampshire in providing early momentum for candidates — or dooming campaigns to failure.
However, if Iowa and New Hampshire are in December, which would not surprise me, the impact will be limited. In fact, it might provide a reason for South Carolina to move up, to increase its impact, which would further accelerate the movement by IA and NH.