This week, Democratic Party officials are meeting in the nation’s capital with the goal of overhauling the top of their 2024 presidential nominating calendar. This decision could have significant ramifications for the party that go far beyond the primary schedule for the next presidential election.
Whether Iowa and New Hampshire, which have held the first two contests in the DNC’s presidential primary and caucus schedule for 50 years, will maintain their customary lead-off positions or if the party will shake up the order and look to a more diverse state to launch the cycle, will be discussed when the Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee meets.
Early September was the intended date for the conference, but it was postponed until after the midterm elections out of fear that alterations to the calendar might hurt Democrats up for difficult reelections. DNC members on the critical panel have recently been the target of a barrage of phone calls, texts, and emails amid intense public lobbying and behind-the-scenes maneuvering.
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Democrats have long criticized Iowa and New Hampshire as being unrepresentative of the party overall because they are predominantly White with few significant urban regions, despite the fact that the Democratic voting bloc has drawn more minorities over the years. The third and fourth places on the calendar to cast ballots, Nevada and South Carolina, respectively, are significantly more diverse than either Iowa or New Hampshire.
Complicating matters, Nevada Democrats approved a bill that became law last year that would turn the state’s presidential caucus into a primary and try to bring the contest to the front of the pack in the fight for the White House, ahead of Iowa and New Hampshire.
Additionally aggravating Iowa’s problems was the inaccurate reporting of the 2020 primary, which caused the DNC and Iowa Democrats to suffer national shame. As one of the early voting, or so-called “carve out,” states, Michigan and Minnesota are vying to take Iowa’s place as the representative of the Midwest.
The DNC took action earlier this year to require South Carolina, Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada to reapply for early state status in the 2024 election cycle. It was also possible for other states to apply for a slot at the front of the calendar. The DNC is also thinking about granting carve-out status to a fifth state. The four current early states and 13 additional states are still competing for pre-window status.
According to Democratic sources, Iowa will likely lose its position for three key reasons: It does not host a primary, as the DNC has been doing in recent years; instead, it holds a caucus. The 2020 presidential caucus results’ delayed announcement was a significant embarrassment, and while Iowa used to be a key state in the general election, its political landscape has turned increasingly red in recent years.
Using its diversity as a selling point, Nevada has made a significant effort to unseat Iowa as the lead-off state. The state legislation protecting New Hampshire’s primary as the first in the nation, which gives the secretary of state the authority to change the contest’s date earlier to preserve primary history, is a sticking point, though. If the DNC retained New Hampshire’s primary second but put the primary of another state first, there would probably be a fight.
According to a person familiar with the Rules and Bylaws Committee’s thinking, “the key questions that the committee needs to address are whether New Hampshire or Nevada lead off the Democrats’ presidential nomination calendar and which Midwestern state — Michigan or Minnesota — replaces Iowa.”
In relation to including a fifth state among the early-voting states, the source informed Fox News “In the carve-out calendar, I don’t believe there is much of a yearning for a fifth state. Although it is still on the table, nobody is discussing it.”
On Friday, the Rules and Bylaws Committee meeting will formally begin. A decision will probably be made on Saturday. President Biden, the most significant participant in the discussion, had not yet commented on the schedule before the meeting.
The president is the nominal leader of the Democratic Party, and according to sources, they anticipate that he and his closest advisers will have a say in this decision-making process, albeit they do not anticipate a formal declaration from the White House.
However, given that Biden is expected to run for re-election and the likelihood of a hotly contested presidential primary if the president does, any modifications to the nomination calendar would probably be more noticeable in the 2028 cycle than in 2024 one.
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“Small, rural states like Iowa must participate in the selection of our next president. Democrats cannot turn their backs on a sizable portion of Midwest voters without harming the party’s reputation for a generation. To increase our Democratic majorities and win the White House, we must win states like Iowa “Wilburn composed.
However, longtime Democratic strategist Mike Czin, who served in both the Democratic National Committee and former president Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign, pointed out that “there are broader reasons for the party to move on from the Iowa caucus and there are numerous states that can fill that important role.”
“Iowa had multiple chances to restructure and enhance the way the caucuses were administered, but they squandered these chances. Not just in 2020, either. They struggled for many years. Their chance to modernize is gone, “said Cain. There is low-key confidence in New Hampshire that it will maintain its century-old status as the nation’s first presidential primary state.
Ray Buckley, the longstanding leader of the state’s Democratic Party, told Fox News last week, “We’ve stated right from the start that we feel New Hampshire is going to remain first in the nation. “The first primary in the country should continue to be held in New Hampshire since it is done there so well. Story over.”
The Republican National Committee decided earlier this year to maintain the current order of their agenda, which starts with Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada.
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