Democrats are on the verge of changing their 2024 presidential nominating calendar
Democratic Party representatives are gathering in the nation’s capital this week on a mission to renew their upper echelons 2024 Presidential Nominating Calendara move that could have major ramifications for the party far beyond their primary schedule in the next race for the White House.
On the agenda when the Democratic National CommitteeThe Rules and Bylaws Committee is convening whether Iowa and New Hampshire — which held the first two contests in the DNC’s half-century presidential primary and caucus schedule — will retain their traditional leading positions or whether the party will shake up order and look to a more diverse state, for to start the cycle.
The meeting was originally scheduled to take place in early September, but was postponed until after the midterm elections amid concerns that the calendar changes could potentially hurt Democrats facing challenging re-election. In recent days, DNC officials from the decision-making panel have been bombarded with calls, texts and emails amid a deluge of public lobbying and behind-the-scenes shenanigans.
For years, Democrats have dismissed Iowa and New Hampshire as unrepresentative of the party as a whole because they are predominantly white with few large urban areas, while the Democratic electoral bloc has attracted more minorities over the past few decades. Nevada and South Carolina — which currently vote third and fourth on the calendar — are far more diverse than Iowa or New Hampshire.
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complicating things Nevada Democrats last year passed a bill into law that would transform the state’s presidential caucus into a primary and aims to move the race into the lead in the race for the White House, ahead of Iowa and New Hampshire. And compounding Iowa’s problems was the failed 2020 caucus reporting that has become a national embarrassment for Iowa Democrats as well as the DNC. Michigan and Minnesota are pushing to replace Iowa as the Midwest’s representative among early voting states, or so-called swing states.
Earlier this year The DNC moved to claim Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina to reapply for early state status in the 2024 calendar. Other states interested in moving to the top of the calendar were also allowed to apply for early status. The DNC is also considering allowing a fifth state to obtain secede status. The four existing early states plus 13 others are still vying for status before the window.
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Democratic sources say it’s pretty clear Iowa will lose ground for three main reasons: First, it runs a caucus, not a primary, which the DNC has been phasing out in recent cycles. The delayed reporting of the 2020 presidential caucus has been a major embarrassment, and while Iowa was once a general election battleground, it has become increasingly red in recent years.
Nevada has made a big push to take Iowa’s place as the top state, touting its diversity. But the sticking point is New Hampshire State Law which defends its primary as the first in the nation by giving the secretary of state the power to move the date of the contest to protect the main tradition. A showdown is likely if the DNC keeps New Hampshire second on the calendar but moves another state’s primary to the top of the order.
“The big questions for the committee to decide are whether New Hampshire or Nevada disappears from the Democratic presidential nominating calendar and which Midwestern state — Michigan or Minnesota — replaces Iowa,” a source familiar with the matter told Fox. Rules and Bylaws Committee News.
As for adding a fifth state to the pool of early voting states, the source told Fox News, “I don’t think there’s much desire for a fifth state on the cut calendar … it’s still on the table, but nobody’s talking about this.”
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The Rules and Bylaws Committee meeting officially begins on Friday, with a decision likely to be made on Saturday.
Before the meeting, the most powerful player in the process – President Biden — had yet to fit into the calendar.
The president is the presumptive head of the Democratic Party, and sources say they expect him and his top advisers to have a say in the process, but do not expect an official announcement from the White House.
But with Biden likely to seek a second term and a hotly contested presidential primary unlikely if the president runs for re-election, any changes to the nominating calendar are likely to be felt more in the 2028 cycle than in 2024 .
Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Ross Wilburn, as he fights to keep his state’s lead, argued in a letter to the Rules and Regulations Committee on Monday that there are issues bigger than the primary calendar.
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“It is extremely important that small, rural states like Iowa have a voice in our presidential nominating process. Democrats can’t abandon an entire swath of voters in the heart of the Midwest without damaging the party for a generation. We need to win states like Iowa in order to increase our Democratic majorities and win the White House,” Wilburn wrote.
But Mike Zing, a longtime Democratic strategist and veteran of former President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign and the Democratic National Committee, noted that “there are broader reasons for the party to move on from the Iowa caucus, and there are many states that can fill this important role.”
“Iowa has had numerous opportunities to reform and improve its caucus election administration and they have failed. It wasn’t just in 2020. They’ve had problems for years. Their opportunity to modernize has passed,” Chin said.
There is a quiet confidence in New Hampshire that they will retain their century-old role as the nation’s primary presidential state.
“We’ve said from the beginning that we think New Hampshire will remain first in the nation,” longtime Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley told Fox News last week. “New Hampshire is doing a great job of hosting the nation’s first primary and should continue to do so. End of story.”
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As Democrats prepare to scramble for their nominating calendar, there isn’t much drama in the GOP.
The Republican National Committee voted earlier this year not to make any changes to their current arrangement of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada leading off their schedule.
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