Democratic Party leaders are trying again to shorten the presidential primary process, which lasted 11 months last year.
An advisory commission recommended Wednesday that 2012's earliest voting, such as the Democratic Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary, not occur before Feb. 1. All but a handful of party primaries would take place after the second Tuesday in March under the recommendations by the Democratic Change Commission.
Last year, the Iowa caucus was held on Jan. 3, and the New Hampshire primary on Jan. 8. Many party activists and ordinary voters say the presidential selection process starts too early, but states have resisted past efforts to limit their powers to pick primary dates.
The recommendations will be reviewed by the rules and bylaws committee of the Democratic National Committee, and later by the full DNC.
The advisory commission also recommended a system for converting unpledged Democratic delegates to a new category of pledged delegates called National Pledged Party Leader and Elected Officials. They would be allocated to presidential hopefuls based on statewide primary or caucus results.
The Democratic Change Commission has 34 members, including elected officials, state party and DNC members, academics and labor union leaders.