This week past, the Republican National Committee, ably led by its chairman, Wisconsin's Reince Priebus, put into effect reforms of the presidential nominating process that greatly simplify and shorten the primary season and, when combined with the two others reforms that are coming --an early convention in June or early July, and a coherent, purpose-driven debate system and schedule--will greatly enhance the prospects for a November win by the eventual GOP nominee.
The possible GOP field* is large, and it needs information now to plan campaigns then. Geraghty the Indisensable has more commentary, and Zeke Miller has additional details, but the new calendar is likely this:
The Iowa caucuses on Monday, February 1, 2016;
The New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, February 9, 2016;
The South Carolina primary on Tuesday, February 16, 2016;
and the Nevada caucuses on Tuesday, February 23.
Expect a new "Super Tuesday" on Tuesday March 1, as would-be early state players rush to attract all the money and attention left after South Carolina, but note the two week gap between South Carolina's voting and the expected new Super Tuesday. Suddenly the Palmetto State has a a lot of leverage as the winner of its 2016 brawl will have a fortnight of momentum on which to build headed into the day which is expected to be crowded with early primaries, all required by the RNC to divide their delegates proportionally.
Big states that want "winner-take-all"drama and "knock-out" potential (and dollars) should angle for Tuesday, March 15, which is the earliest such a contest can be held, and if Ohio wants clout (and maybe a leg up in the hunt of the convention) its GOP dominated legislature should move the primary to that day. I doubt Governor Kasich would object.