by Andrew Walden
Responding to a nationwide call for later primaries by the Republican National Committee and the Democrat National Committee, Hawaii Republican convention delegates have agreed to hold Hawaii Republican Presidential Caucuses on March 13, 2012.
In past years, Hawaii Republicans elected delegates to the Republican National Convention late in the campaign season at the state convention. At the 2009 GOP convention, delegates had voted to set a caucus date in February--a date which was too early under the joint RNC-DNC primary agreement. But starting in 2012, voters will be invited to directly vote on the Republican presidential candidates and delegates will be proportionally allocated according to the results of the vote.
Proponents of the caucus look forward to Hawaii Republicans having a greater say in the selection of the Republican Presidential nominee. Saturday, March 10 is the date of the Guam and Puerto Rico Republican primaries. Alaska holds its Republican convention at the end of that week, creating a week in which the focus is on Pacific states and US territories.
Supporters, including this writer, also anticipate that the direct caucus voting will generate greater interest in Hawaii by Republican Presidential campaigns. The opportunity to directly vote on the Republican nominee is expected to bring out thousands of Hawaii Republican voters who have never before had a chance to directly participate in choosing the Republican Presidential nominee.