South Carolina will hold its Republican presidential primary Jan. 21, moving the date forward to stay ahead of Florida.
Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada are all expected to now move their caucuses and primaries up as well to maintain their traditional early spots in the presidential-nominee selection process calendar.
The Sunshine State caused heartburn last week in several early primary and caucus states by announcing that it would move its primary to the last day in January from March in order to maintain its fifth-place spot in the contest order. The move by Florida's special commission to make the state's primary earlier means the 2012 calendar will now look a lot like 2008.
South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Chad Connelly issued the following statement:
"Last Friday, a nine person committee brought chaos to the 2012 calendar. Today, South Carolina is making things right.
"South Carolina Republicans have a thirty year track record of picking the eventual Republican Presidential nominee. We will continue that historic tradition on January 21, 2012.
"It will undoubtedly be a spirited campaign to make Barack Obama just the worst ONE term President in American history. We are united in this mission, and any candidate who ignores South Carolina does so at great peril."
Additional Note: In conjunction with Fox News, the South Carolina Republican Party will also host a "First in the South" Republican Debate in the days leading up to the primary.