WASHINGTON – The nation’s Republican presidential primary season could be bumping up against New Year’s Day, as states seeking to boost their political clout look to set earlier contests.

Florida’s 2012 Republican presidential primary could be scheduled for as early as Jan. 31, which most likely would prompt the states that traditionally have gone early to move up their own contests. Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon told The St. Petersburg Times on Wednesday that the state’s primary date selection committee meets Friday and is likely to choose Jan. 31.

If Florida moves its date, Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada would be expected to move up to earlier in January.

The Iowa caucuses are now tentatively scheduled for Feb. 6, New Hampshire’s primary for Feb. 14, Nevada’s caucuses for Feb. 18 and South Carolina’s primary for Feb. 28.

All states must submit dates to the RNC by Saturday.