The first Presidential primaries should not encroach upon the prior year. The primaries do not even need to start in January. The first primary date should be the Tuesday after the first Monday in February. This protects the holidays from an unnecessary and never welcomed level of political intrusion. (In this solution, Passover/Easter, Mother’s Day and Memorial Day are also avoided to the extent possible.)
Sufficient time is built into the early part of the primary season. A reasonably-paced roll-out of smaller contests occurs such that the campaigns are able to be tested, adjusted and better funded over time.
One state should not be set apart as the sole starter of the Presidential primaries.
Following these guidelines, the calendar is as follows:
Using 2016′s calendar:
Feb. 2: 2 Phase I states
Feb. 16: 4 Phase I states
March 1: Super Tuesday I – the rest of the Phase I states
March 22: Mega-States I
April 19: 2 Phase II states
April 26: 4 Phase II states
May 3: Super Tuesday II – the rest of the Phase II states
May 17: Mega-States II
June 7: 4-5 Phase III states
June 21: Super Tuesday III – the rest of the Phase III states (and any make-up states)
For comparison, this site details current and previous nomination calendars. (I am so glad someone else went to the trouble to gather the details of that mess… Thanks, Josh!)