AFP
October 1, 2011

MIAMI (AFP) – Florida officials decided Friday to move up the vital battleground’s presidential primary date to January 31, sowing chaos in the political calendar in the run up to the November 2012 elections.

The state, which has 29 of the 270 electoral college votes needed to clinch the White House, is expected to be the largest battleground when President Barack Obama faces off against his as-yet undetermined Republican rival.

Moving up the date gives candidates less time to raise funds and court supporters, which could weigh on Republicans tempted to consider making a late entry into the already crowded field, such as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

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