This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
The FrontloadingHQ.com blog painted a bit of an intriguing scenario last week, warning that Utah could flout the national party guidelines on presidential primaries next year. Ignoring Republican and Democratic party rules and plowing ahead with its Feb. 7 primary, the blogger wrote, calling it "the most imminent threat to the 2012 calendar."
Cats living with dogs, etc.
The argument was the state was paying for the primaries and because the Legislature failed to move the primary, they were obligated to plow ahead with the Feb. 7 date or pay for the primaries themselves. If they stuck with the date, Utah could be pretty seriously penalized by the national parties.
The scenario got parroted in Politico and picked up elsewhere, as well.
However, as a wise man once warned: "Don't believe the hype."
In addition to not moving the date, the Utah Legislature also decided not to pay for the primaries this year and the law says the Feb. 7 date is entirely contingent on state funding. So the parties are on their own in terms of scheduling and staging a presidential contest.
Utah Republican Party executive director Ivan Dubois says the GOP will probably shoot for late June, when the state's normal primary date, but the schedule should be firmed up in a couple weeks.
Utah Democratic Party executive director Todd Taylor told me a couple weeks ago that his party may not even have a formal primary, opting instead for a "firehouse primary," basically a kind of caucus, since it's basically going to be an affirmation for the incumbent president.
FrontloadingHQ posted a lengthy "yeah, but …" update over the weekend pointing out that the DNC rules require delegates to be selected before the state's June primary. That would be a valid point if the Dems were targeting the late-June date.
Robert GehrkeTwitter: @RobertGehrke