The 2016 Republican Caucuses and Primaries Schedule and Calendar

Rand Paul
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) speaks at the Freedom Summit in Manchester, New Hampshire in 2014. Darren McCollester/Getty Images

Republican National Convention

The 2016 Republican National Convention and coordinated Presidential Nomination events will be held starting on either June 28th or July 18th of 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The June date would position the convention a full two months earlier than the 2012 convention and potentially well ahead of their 2016 Democratic counterparts. The shortened primary process means that Republicans could use fewer resources in the primary phase.

The nominee will also have four months to raise money, travel the country, and become better well known with voters across the country. With the possibility of facing a much more well known candidate such as Hillary Clinton, the Republican nominee will need all the time in the world to become familiar to the public. (All Dates Tentative due to conflicting information and unsettled dates)

February 1st:

Iowa Caucuses:

This first-in-the-nation contest is the place where many presidential ambitions come to die. Though many campaigns end in Iowa, winning Iowa does not a winner make. Only two of the last six victors in here went on to win the Republican nomination. The state is typically expected to select a more conservative candidate.

February 9th: 

New Hampshire:

The nations first primary may be a better indicator of who is more likely to win the nomination. Winners of the New Hampshire primary are 4-2 since 1980 in competitive years.

In that time period, no Republican candidate has won both Iowa and New Hampshire (not including incumbents), but no eventual nominee has failed to win one or the other.

February 20:

Colorado; Minnesota; Missouri; New York; Utah

If New York does indeed move up into this early slot it could be a game-changer.

It would be the first major state to go off the board and winning it would give the winner a huge boost in the delegate count, even if penalties are involved. The state would favor a more establishment candidate, while a conservative candidate could offset this by winning the other more conservative states.


February 20:

South Carolina; Nevada:

Though the Palmetto State is not coming immediately after Iowa and New Hampshire, South Carolina does look as though it will remain the "first in the south" contest. The state gave Newt Gingrich a big boost in the 2012 primary and made Florida a make-or-break contest for Mitt Romney.

March 1 - Super Tuesday:

Florida; Massachusetts; Oklahoma; Tennessee; Texas; Vermont; Virginia; (Georgia)

North Carolina - the increasingly purple southern state - was a non-factor in the 2012 primaries, but this earlier date will require a lot of candidates' attention.

The first "Super Tuesday" event sees Florida pushed back from the earlier - and penalized - position it enjoyed in 2012, while Texas has moved out of inconsequential and into prime position. With Virginia and, potentially, Georgia in the mix, someone could have a clear path to victory after this big day.

Florida and Texas are also rich in potential 2016 home candidates as Governors Rick Perry and Jeb Bush and US Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are all potential candidates. Rand Paul also has strong ties Texas. His father, Ron Paul, served as a US Congressman and non-stop Presidential contender.

March 5:

Louisiana

March 8:

Alabama; Hawaii; Mississippi; Michigan

March 15:

Illinois; Missouri; Michigan

This is set to be the date where states are allowed to offer winner-take all scenarios. This has led states such as Michigan to choose to pull back in case of a competitive primary, giving the state a bigger prize to offer candidates. Winning the early states is as much about gaining momentum as it is collecting delegates, beyond Mar. 15 it's just a race to the finish line.

March 22:

Arizona

April 5:

Maryland; Washington, DC ; Wisconsin

April 26:

Connecticut; Delaware; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island

If the race comes down to an establishment vs conservative pair, this will likely be a very good day for the more establishment candidate.

May 3:

Indiana

May 10:

Nebraska; West Virginia

Tuesday, May 17:

Kentucky; Oregon

Tuesday, May 24:

Arkansas

June 7:

California; Montana ; New Jersey; New Mexico; South Dakota

In the event that the nominating process goes the distance, California is positioned as the ultimate tiebreaker. New Jersey also adds a health dose of delegates.

In the 2012 Republican primaries, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann withdrew after a poor showing in Iowa Caucuses. Rick Perry and Jon Huntsman both withdrew after the first primary, held in New Hampshire. Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich each gobbled up votes as the "anti-Romney" candidate throughout February, March, and April before endorsing Romney in early May. Ron Paul stayed in and collected delegates through caucuses, but was never a serious threat.