"The state of Florida is moving its presidential primary earlier by one week, under a new law signed by Gov. Charlie Crist. The change means that Florida's Jan. 29 vote will set it apart from the large number of states holding their primaries on Feb. 5, 2008.
The new date still follows the Iowa and Nevada caucuses, as well as the emphatically first-in-the nation primary in New Hampshire. But Florida's vote will now be held on the same date as the South Carolina primary.
With New York and California among the 12 states voting on Feb. 5, the new January date makes Florida by far the largest state with an early role in the presidential nominating process. It is possible more states may move their caucus or primary to Feb. 5.
Adam Smith, who covers politics for The Saint Petersburg Times, told NPR's Robert Siegel that the move is a way for Florida to assert itself in the general election.
"They see themselves as the biggest swing state in the country — a diverse state" Smith said, "and they want to have a lot of say in who the nominee of the respective parties is.""