There is only a small chance that Washington state's Feb. 9 caucuses will have any effect whatever on either party's nominating processes. The odds still point to decisions on Super Tuesday, four days before. The early Super Tuesday decisions came as a result of many states moving up their primary and caucus dates so as to have a voice in the outcome. Big states such as New York, California, and Illinois -- whose voters all go to the polls Feb. 5 -- had tired of seeing the Presidential nominations being decided before the contests even reached their states. But so many states have frontloaded in 2008, and the nominating process accordingly shortened, that there almost certainly will be a further reordering of the process before 2012. The most likely possibility is a series of four or five regional primaries, spaced over a three-month period, giving voters nationwide a genuine piece of the nominating action. Iowa and New Hampshire will remain determined to lead the process. Those states get big economic jolts from the media, hotel, travel, and other expenditures the campaigns bring them over a several-month period. The other 48 states can stop this, however, but just saying no. The Democratic and Republican national parties could stop the Iowa/New Hampshire tyranny by simply refusing to sanction those states' caucuses and primaries. Democrats did it to Michigan this year when that state moved up its primary date. Democratic delegates elected there Tuesday night will not be allowed seating at the national party convention. Republicans okayed the early date, however, and thus the upcoming McCain-Romney shootout. Washington should not rush to compete with Iowa and New Hampshire next time around by moving our caucuses to Christmas. But its party officials should be heard strongly at national level in favor of a regional or similar nominating calendar which would give us a piece of the nominating action.