New Hampshire's secretary of state has scheduled the first-in-the-nation presidential primary for Feb. 9, 2016, a move that had been widely expected given the lack of pressure from other states.

Other states in past years have jockeyed to move their primaries and caucuses earlier in hopes of grabbing some of the spotlight New Hampshire enjoys. But New Hampshire state law requires its primary to be held at least seven days ahead of any other similar contest and gives Secretary of State Bill Gardner exclusive power to set the date.

The date Gardner announced Thursday is less than eight weeks away, but he's cut it closer before. He waited until Nov. 21 to set the Jan. 8 date for the 2008 primary.

Iowa will hold the first caucuses Feb. 1.