Draft GOP plan keeps Iowa, NH 1st in voting cycle

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The chairman of the Iowa Republican Party says a national GOP panel supports keeping Iowa and New Hampshire first in the presidential nominating process.

Chairman Matt Strawn said Thursday that a Republican National Committee panel's draft rules allow only Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada to hold caucuses or primaries before March 1, 2012.

Iowa would hold the first caucus and New Hampshire the first primary. But both would have to wait until after Feb. 1, 2012.

Strawn says the RNC is expected to give the rules final approval at an August meeting in Kansas City.

Michigan and Florida jumped ahead in the calendar during the last election cycle and were sanctioned by the both Democratic and Republican parties.

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