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A Western Primary

Here's an update on the efforts of some Democrats to create a western primary -- possibly between Iowa and New Hampshire, or possibly after New Hampshire but before February 5, 2008:

A group called Democrats For The West would like to see that plan [for a western primary] put into action. Since 2004 they've joined the Western Governors' Association, the Western States Democratic Chairs' Caucus, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, and at least one Republican governor--Jon Huntsman of Utah--in lobbying for a western regional primary. Huntsman has signed legislation rewriting the state's election law and has pledged $850,000 to the project.

Spearheading the effort for the Democrats is veteran Party activist Michael Stratton, a member of the DNC Commission that made the original recommendation. "The future of the Democratic Party lies out west," Stratton says, arguing that if the DNC is going to add early primaries, it should be in areas with a strong Democratic tradition. "There are a lot of people who are hungry to come to the process," Stratton says. "If we're adding states to the mix, I think we are all concerned that they be places where we can in fact win."

Throughout the summer, the DNC will continue to deliberate its primary reform project. The Rules and Bylaws Committee is scheduled to meet again in July to review the state proposals. In lieu of a regional primary, which now appears unlikely for 2008, Democrats For The West has appealed to the DNC to reserve at least one of the early slots for a western state.

Yep. There's something to this idea of the West as the new battleground.

As Drudge might say, developing...