Pennsylvania Presidential Primary Could Be Moved to March 2016

Officials want the state to retain influence over selecting presidential nominees.


Officials could move the 2016 Pennsylvania presidential primary election up a month, away from its traditional late-April date, to March, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

In most years, the paper noted, “both major-party nominations have been decided by the time Pennsylvanians go to the polls.” Moving the election up a month could give the state renewed influence in selecting those nominees.

“I think it would be advantageous; [it] does create a buzz in the state,” said State Rep. Keith J. Greiner, R-Lancaster, prime sponsor of the bill to shift the voting dates. “There’s an economic benefit to the state as well,” he added, pointing to the money spent on commercials and campaigning in Pennsylvania during previous campaigns.

But there is opposition — from the state leaders of both parties.

“You’d have to change the date of petition circulation … You’d be circulating petitions in January and February,” said Rob Gleason, the GOP’s state chair. “I’ve always kind of resisted that.”

“The costs and the complications far outweigh any benefits,” added Jim Burn, the Democratic state chairman.

Greiner is still lining up co-sponsors for the bill; he did not indicate when it will be introduced.