ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Georgia and Alaska joined the growing list of states pushing up their presidential primary voting to Feb. 5, a date clearly shaping up as a national primary day for Republicans and Democrats.
In Alaska, caucuses will be held Feb. 5, 2008. In 2004, Alaska Democrats held their caucus in March, while Republicans waited until the end of May to hold their convention.
"We wanted to make sure Alaska had a reasonable standing in the public debate," said Randy Ruedrich, chairman of the Republican Party of Alaska. "We're going to be on Feb. 5, along with what appears to be over half the country."
In Georgia, Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue signed a bill on Tuesday that pushed the state's primaries up by a month, from March 4 to Feb. 5.
Fifteen states, led by delegate-rich New York, California and New Jersey, have moved their primary voting to Feb. 5 and at least five states, including Illinois and Texas, are close to making a similar shift.
Iowa opens the presidential nomination process with its caucuses on Jan. 14. Nevada Democrats hold their caucus on Jan. 19 and New Hampshire is tentatively scheduled to hold the nation's first primary on Jan. 22.
Last week, Florida joined South Carolina Democrats with plans for a primary on Jan. 29.
In Alaska, district conventions for Republicans and district caucuses for Democrats are scheduled for Feb. 5 in each of Alaska's 40 house districts. At those meetings, registered party members will select delegates to move ahead to the statewide conventions in March for Republicans and May for Democrats.