The Nevada Republican Party pushed the date of its presidential nominating caucus back to February 4, bowing to pressure not to undermine the New Hampshire primary that has traditionally been one of the first key contests for presidential contenders.
The state party voted to move the caucus from January 14, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement. The switch eliminates a conflict with the New Hampshire primary, which is due to take place in early January.
The decision should clear up the confusion around the order of states in which Republicans begin to pick their 2012 nominee. Iowa is to go on January 3 and Nevada's move should allow New Hampshire to hold the first-in-the-nation primary on Jan 10.
Nevada and New Hampshire are among four states authorized by the Republican National Committee to hold the first contests on the road to choosing a nominee to face Democratic President Barack Obama in the November 2012 election.
But Nevada Republicans pushed up their caucus by more than a month after Florida bumped ahead its primary in a move that left the nominating process in turmoil.
Nevada's move irked New Hampshire, which traditionally holds its primary before Nevada's caucus.
The move brought relief to party leaders who did not want to see an internal squabble compromise Republican chances of unseating Obama, whose popularity has fallen over dissatisfaction with high unemployment and sluggish economic growth.
Nevada Republicans ... chose unity over chaos and brought order to the 2012 nominating calendar, said South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Chad Connelly.