DES MOINES, Iowa ( Associated Press) — Democrats are set to cut Iowa away from its presidential nomination process beginning in 2024, part of a broader effort that will see less heavily white states go early and the party’s deeply diverse electorate. allows better reflection.
The rule-making branch of the Democratic National Committee had planned to recommend Friday Which state should be among the first four to vote, considering adding a fifth before Super Tuesday, when primary elections are held in a large number of states. but it delayed the decision until the November electionLest it become a distraction affecting Democrats in the race for major Congress.
Still, the status of Iowa’s caucus remains uncertain, as technical glitches triggered the 2020 recession., For more than a decade, caucus rules requiring in-person attendance, which serve to limit participation, have been reaching crescendo. 1 position between New Hampshire, which now ranks second but traditionally shuns primary voting, and Nevada, a heavily Hispanic state that wants to jump from third to first. Is.
“I sincerely hope Iowa will be changed,” said Julian Castro, a former San Antonio mayor and federal housing chief. “And that the primary calendar will be rearranged to better reflect the diversity of the Democratic Party and the country.”
Castro is not on the rules committee, but he has criticized Iowa for being the first for the 2019 presidency. A Democratic National Committee spokesman said the rules committee is “conducting a full process” and will continue to “let it play out.”
Iowa survives past challenges And may do so again, especially considering that a final decision won’t come for months. It argues that, aside from 2020, voters here have a strong track record of starting the nomination process — and that its caucuses keep Democrats relevant amid the state’s recent turnaround.,
Iowa Democratic Party President Ross Wilburn said he would fight to make sure the nearly 50-year tradition continues.
“When I became the chair and we started this process, the word was ‘Iowa is done,'” Wilburn told reporters on Thursday. “But no decision has been taken. No calendar has been submitted to the committee. We are still in this fight.”
But several rules committee members said privately that the party was leaning toward either New Hampshire or Nevada, or perhaps on the same day. They all requested anonymity and continued to discuss in detail more freely.
South Carolina, with its large block of Black Democrats, could move from fourth to third, freeing up a larger Midwestern state to go further. Michigan and Minnesota are making strong cases, but both cannot advance their primary dates without legislative approval, requiring the support of Republicans.
If the committee adds a fifth starting slot, it may move to Iowa to reduce the blow.
Iowa has begun voting since 1976, when Jimmy Carter upset a caucus and gathered enough momentum to eventually win the presidency. Since then, it has been followed by New Hampshire, which has held the nation’s first primary since 1920. Nevada and South Carolina have moved on since the 2008 presidential election, when Democrats last underwent a major primary calendar overhaul.
Nevada has now ended its caucus in favor of the primaries., During a recent presentation to the members of the Rules Committee, its delegation showed a video Arguing that “tradition is not reason enough to maintain the status quo.”
“If a diverse and inclusive state isn’t on the front of the primary calendar, I’m really concerned that what we’re going to see is the same criticism we’re seeing about the Democratic Party’s primary process,” said the Nevada Democratic Sen. Jackie Rosen.
Representatives for Iowa and New Hampshire argue that smaller states allow all candidates — not just the well-funded ones — Connect personally with voters, and that losing their slots could benefit Republicans in the race to Congress. The GOP has already made the decision to let Iowa begin its 2024 presidential nomination cycle.
“Just like when two more states were added in the initial window, Nevada and South Carolina,” there is a feeling that, as America is not stable, “that the Democratic Party changes and grows over time,” said the rule. Committee member Randy Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers.
New Hampshire Democratic National Committeeman Bill Shaheen said he didn’t know what would have happened if the rules committee vote had not been postponed, but he gave it “another opportunity to show what kind of state we are.”
When the DNC approved moving the primary calendar before 2008, it called the Nevada caucuses after Iowa and before New Hampshire, only to have New Hampshire move up its primary. Shaheen said that regardless of the party’s decision, his state may do the same this time.
“We are going to do the first primary whether the DNC recognizes it or not,” said Shaheen, whose wife Jean is a senator. “is most likely.”
Those pushing for more diverse states to pursue say Democrats may this time impose sanctions to deter such jockeys.
Non-white voters made up 26% of all voters in the 2020 presidential election and supported Joe Biden over Donald Trump, according to Associated Press VoteCast, a nationwide poll of voters. Then the share of non-white voters accounted for 38% of Democratic voters.
In contrast, according to VoteCast polls, 91% of the 2020 Iowa Democratic caucus goers were white and 94% of New Hampshire primary voters.
Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., who is helping her state move early, said Michigan shows diversity “and that’s what we’re missing in these early primaries.”
“We’re not testing candidates to see what their general election is going to look like,” said Dingell, who said Michigan “can get more county fairs than anyone.” It commemorates Iowa’s state fair, where generations of presidential candidates have worked porkchop grills and gulped down deep-fried versions of all imaginable foods.
“We’re very good at junk food,” said Dingell, laughing.
If the Rules Committee approves a reshuffle framework, it still has to be approved by the full Democratic National Committee, although it generally favors such decisions.
It could be controversial if Biden chooses to take a second term, In that case, the party would be less likely to build a strong primary program, potentially allowing another Democrat to challenge him for the nomination.
Some rules committee members suggested the White House had recently taken a keen interest in the primary calendar process, but others expressed disappointment that the Biden administration has not given them clear guidance on where their priorities lie.
In addition to diversity, Democrats are looking at electoral competition and states’ efforts to ease voting restrictions. They are examining the racial makeup, union membership and size of states in terms of population and geography – which can affect prospects for direct voter engagement and travel and advertising costs.
Following a breakdown of results, which prevented The Associated Press from declaring the winner, Iowa Democrats have proposed changing the presidential preference portion of the caucus to require all participants to match in their selections. But for more than a decade there were calls from even top Democrats to shift the starting line elsewhere, thus highlighting the party’s growth and potential among young voters and people of color.
Advocacy groups that have supported Nevada’s bid for the first are the Asian American Action Fund’s board Latino Victory, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’ BOLD PAC, Somos Votentes and Aspire PAC, which represents Asian American and Pacific Islander members of Congress. , support it.
Castro said his position was once an outlier that baffled party bosses but was increasingly accepted among top Democrats.
He said, ‘It is feeling a little different this time. “Following Iowa’s experience in 2020 – and the past two years of pushing for equity and racial justice, the recognition that the Democratic Party is the only large tent party, the only inclusive party – it is fitting that our primary calendar will reflect “
Weissert reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Holly Reimer in Concord, New Hampshire, and Hannah Fingerhut in Washington contributed.