Today Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest issued the following statement of support for moving the North Carolina Presidential primary election date to March 22, 2016.
"I understand the original intent of moving up our Presidential primary to the first Tuesday after South Carolina. However, circumstances have changed. If we stay where we are, our state delegation will be decimated at the National Convention. All our voting strength will be negated and smaller states will play a greater role in determining the nominee for our party.
I also understand the efforts behind those who would move our primary to March 1st, which would protect the size of our delegation at the national convention to its full voting strength. However, I believe it would be a greater benefit to the voters of North Carolina to hold our primary on March 22, 2016. Although the March 1st date would protect our delegation at the convention, it means our state would not qualify for 'winner take all' status. In other words, our state would be worth a fraction of its true value to the ultimate winner, because with the crowded primary field, no one candidate would win a large majority of the vote. In addition, we would be marginalized by the sheer number of states competing on that same day, which currently stands at eight states.
By setting our primary date at March 22, 2016, North Carolina would position itself as the largest ‘Winner Take All’ state at stake on that day, with only three states currently positioned to hold primaries at that time. This positioning would correspond to a narrower field of candidates, as several will have dropped out by that point. However, North Carolina would find itself as a must have state for serious candidates still in the hunt. In my opinion, the March 22nd date captures the intent of the original effort to move up our primary to make our state more relevant in selecting a future President of the United States.
If this reasoning makes sense to you, please call your state senator or representative and ask them to vote to move the primary to March 22, 2016."