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Even though the filing deadline for the New Hampshire presidential primary was last Friday, candidates still do not know when the actual primary will take place.

New Hampshire Secretary of State William Gardner said that he will wait to set a primary date until Michigan chooses the date of their primary. Michigan has until November 14 to set their date. State law in New Hampshire dictates that the state primary must occur at least seven days before any other “similar contest”, generally interpreted to mean any other primary. Michigan is expected to choose January 15 as their primary date, which would allow New Hampshire to set its primary for January 8.

However, Democratic Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan has threatened to try and set his state’s primary date even earlier, which could force New Hampshire’s primary into December 2007. Some experts believe that New Hampshire would look ridiculous holding a 2008 presidential primary in 2007, which could significantly damage the state’s political standing in the future. This is exactly what Levin wants, as he believes New Hampshire has a disproportionate influence on the political process.

On the other hand, some political figures in New Hampshire are embracing the idea of a December 2007 primary. Jim Splaine, a Democratic state legislator in New Hampshire, is urging Gardner to set the state’s primary for December 11. We could be voting for president sooner than we think…