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Senate approves March 15 GOP primary date

State AG Bill Schuette wants to make sure no one can vote straight-ticket this November.
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Michigan Republicans would vote for their presidential nominee on March 15 of next year, under a bill that’s cleared the state Senate. But there’s still a lot to settle as far as the GOP nominating process.

The new date would bring the state into compliance with national GOP rules. Otherwise, Michigan could lose most of its votes at the national nominating convention next summer for holding its primary too close to the early states of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. 

State Sen. Dave Robertson, R-Grand Blanc, says he wants Michigan to be pivotal next year.

“I just want to make certain that Michigan is well positioned, and I think we will be and we are, within the Midwest region, well positioned to get the maximum amount of attention from the greatest number of candidates,” he said following a unanimous Senate vote.

March 15 could potentially be a Midwest “super-primary.” Illinois and Missouri already have elections then, and more states could join. But some Republicans still hope to push Michigan to go even earlier.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.