The Iowa delegation promised changes to its caucus after 2020’s meltdown. New Hampshire’s brought giftbags. The Nevada team argued that racial diversity should trump tradition.
Sixteen states and Puerto Rico are jockeying for early slots on a new Democratic presidential primary calendar, offering presentations for party bosses on why they deserve to go first — or at least close to it.
Iowa has held the leadoff position since 1972, but technical glitches undermined its Democratic caucus two years ago. That sparked clamor for change and calls within the party that Democrats, whose largest, most loyal base is Black voters, should start somewhere more racially diverse.
The states pressing their case over three days in meetings of the Democrats’ Rules and Bylaws Committee run the gamut from sprawling, red bastions like Texas to perennial battlegrounds such as Michigan. The full Democratic National Committee plans to vote in August and could alter the current order of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina — or keep the slate the same.
The issue may ultimately prove moot for the 2024 presidential election, however. If President Joe Biden opts to seek a second term, the party could have little appetite to build out a robust primary schedule that potentially allows another Democrat to challenge him for the nomination.
The Republican National Committee has already decided to keep Iowa first in its presidential nominating process. Many of its early 2024 presidential hopefuls are already flocking to the state.
Democratic Party leaders voted in April to reopen the nominating calendar, allowing up to five states to vote before Super Tuesday in early March.
The party is considering factors like diversity, electoral competitiveness and logistical feasibility. That means scrutinizing states’ racial and ethnic makeup, union membership rates and how big they are in terms of population and geography — which can affect possibilities for direct voter engagement and the costs of travel and advertising.
Also important are states that have taken steps to make voting easier, in response to many Republican-led legislatures tightening balloting restrictions.
The jostling to be first isn’t new. Iowa moved its 2008 caucus up to Jan. 3 — when some residents were still recovering from raucous New Year’s Day celebrations — to help ensure it remained ahead of other states trying to jump in front of it.
During its presentation Thursday, Iowa promised to overhaul its caucus, relying more heavily on vote-by-mail so that results could be available more quickly.
“We recognize that the caucuses, how they’ve been conducted since the 1970s, are no longer aligned with vibrant and just 21st century democracy,” said Ross Wilburn, chair of the Iowa Democratic Party and a state lawmaker. “In order to continue growing our party, we need to make changes.”
Still, Iowa’s team argued for preserving traditions allowing presidential candidates to introduce themselves to the nation from small-town living rooms or working the state fair’s pork chop grill.
If Democrats decide to bypass Iowa, it could open the door for South Carolina, whose population is 27% Black …read more
Source:: Headlines News4jax
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