Beginning in 1972, Florida's Presidential Primary became a critical event in the Democratic Party's nominating process. Starting in 1976, it was an important date on the GOP's nomination calendar. Throughout the 1980's and 1990's Florida played a critical role. But as other states moved up their primaries, Florida was largely irrelevant in 2000 and 2004. Then in 2007 the legislature moved the 2008 primary up to late January, a move rejected by both national parties. Dropped back to a traditional March date, Florida surprisingly ended up playing a critical role in the GOP's nominating process in both 2012 and 2016.