North Carolina Causes A New March Madness


North Carolina state legislators voted this week to hold the state’s 2016 GOP Presidential primary on March 15 of next year, bringing a very new dimension to the tern “March Madness.” The change has serious implications for the huge field of Republican presidential candidates as they draw up their nomination roadmaps.

North Carolina has in recent years held its primary in May, and by May, the nominee is usually a foregone conclusion. There hasn’t been a competitive Republican primary in May in 40 years.

Here is what makes North Carolina a big March prize, the month is full of big primary states, jam packed with delegates. That is 17 primaries with the big prizes of Florida, Texas, Ohio and now North Carolina all coming in the month of March.

It also means that three of the biggest have hometown candidates that could take those states off the map but who finishes second through fourth are very critical.

Ohio’s governor John Kasich should win in the Buckeye State, Florida has Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio in a real battle, and Texas has Rick Perry and Ted Cruz  facing off in  March primaries.

That leaves North Carolina as the biggest primary prize in March without a hometown candidate in the race for the 72 delegates in a winner-take-all contest.

The two most frequent guests in North Carolina have been Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. The two  have been jockeying behind the scenes for months to establish a North Carolina primary date that favors their preferred candidate. Both are hoping for good showing in other states will give them a leg up in North Carolina.

Here is the 2016 March GOP Presidential Primary schedule:

Tuesday, March 1: Arkansas, Colorado caucuses, Massachusetts; Oklahoma; Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia and North Carolina.

Saturday, March 5: Louisiana

Tuesday, March 8: Alabama, Hawaii caucuses, Idaho, Mississippi and Michigan

Sunday, March 13: Puerto Rico (the last contest in 2016 required to be proportional.

Tuesday, March 15:  Florida, Illinois, Missouri, and Ohio

Tuesday, March 22: Arizona, and the Utah caucuses


Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved s and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.