Biden Wants S.C. First Primary Diversity Over Iowa: The state of Michigan would be the sixth primary election. The plan was conceived after the president made a request to ensure that “voters of color have a voice in choosing our nominee much earlier in the process.”
Biden Wants S.c. First Primary, Demoting Iowa and Prizing Diversity
In 2024, President Biden and the DNC want to make South Carolina the first primary state, followed by Nevada, New Hampshire, Georgia, and Michigan. At a luncheon Thursday in Washington, party officials disclosed the proposal to break Iowa’s lengthy reign as the Democrats’ first nominating battle and elevate the diverse, working-class constituency that propelled Mr. Biden’s 2020 primary triumph.
The shift would also reward South Carolina, which salvaged Mr. Biden’s candidacy two years ago after he placed fourth in Iowa and fifth in New Hampshire, both smaller states with greater white voter percentages. “We must guarantee that voters of color have a role in picking our nominee far earlier in the process and during the whole early window,” Mr. Biden wrote Thursday to members of the D.N.C.’s Rules and Bylaws Committee, many of whom were shocked by the calendar ideas.
“Black voters in particular have been the backbone of the Democratic Party but have been pushed to the rear of the early primary process,” he added. We depend on these voters in elections but have ignored them in our nomination schedule. Stop taking these voters for granted and give them a stronger and earlier voice in the process.”
The letter said frankly, “Our party should no longer accept caucuses as part of our nomination process.” Iowa holds just caucuses. Republicans will continue to run in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada. Iowa and New Hampshire, whose eateries and town commons are swamped with candidates leading up to their nominating contests, have long advertised themselves as tough tests of a candidate’s honesty, readiness, and ability to connect in small groups with very discriminating voters.
By elevating many bigger states, the new Democratic strategy might diminish such chances and force candidates to focus on expensive advertising campaigns targeting the largest audiences.
“Small rural states like Iowa must have a role in our presidential nomination process,” said Iowa Democratic Party chairman Ross Wilburn. “Democrats cannot overlook entire groups of voters in the heart of the Midwest without inflicting substantial harm to the party for a generation.”
The idea, originally reported by The Washington Post, must be approved by the party’s Rules and Bylaws Committee and the whole D.N.C. early next year. Some states, particularly Republican-controlled Georgia, may have technical and legal issues. The Rules Committee may consider some of those concerns on Friday and Saturday in Washington.
New Hampshire, used to hold the first primary by state law, was outraged. Several officials hinted at a conflict with the D.N.C., raising doubts about how the party will execute its final decision if states deviate.“I vehemently oppose the president’s fundamentally flawed idea, but make no mistake, New Hampshire’s legislation is clear, and our primary will continue to be First in the Nation,” stated New Hampshire Democrat Senator Maggie Hassan.
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However, the D.N.C.—the White House’s political arm—will heavily evaluate the president’s views. Mr. Biden encouraged the Rules and Bylaws Committee to examine the schedule every four years “to ensure that it continues to represent the principles and diversity of our party and our country.”
BIDEN: “We must ensure that voters of color have a voice in choosing our nominee much earlier…you cannot be the Democratic nominee and win a general unless you have overwhelming support from voters of color—and that includes Black, Brown and AAPI voters.” https://t.co/Ml1vZuy9zZ
— Dr. Michelle Au (@AuforGA) December 2, 2022
The D.N.C. reexamined its presidential candidate selection process after Iowa’s 2020 Democratic caucuses, which took days to complete. Concerned that Iowa and New Hampshire didn’t represent the Democratic Party’s diversity, it asked states to apply to hold the kickoff primary. The measure spurred significant public and private lobbying by high-ranking parties and elected leaders throughout the ballot.
Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina symbolize the Midwest, Northeast, West, and South. Whether to replace Iowa with Michigan or Minnesota; the sequence of the early states, as Nevada, tried to displace New Hampshire in the first primary; and whether to add a fifth state to the early cluster have been significant considerations throughout the process.
The committee created a framework this year that emphasised racial, ethnic, geographic, economic, and labor diversity, practicality, and general election competitiveness.
In the struggle for the Midwest, some D.N.C. members worried—and Minnesota Democrats have argued—that having a large and costly state like Michigan host a primary early in the nominating process may inspire well-funded contenders to camp out there and disregard the other states on the calendar.
If Mr. Biden runs again without a primary, that fear is less pressing. He plans to run but will debate the race with his family during the holidays and make a decision early next year. Some Democrats have long considered boosting Michigan, a crucial general election state with varied voting groupings and a large labor presence. The Democratic midterm landslide there supported that.
This week, the Michigan State Senate moved the primary from March to February. “This president realizes that any path to the White House goes through the heartland,” said Michigan Democrat Debbie Dingell, who strongly lobbied the White House for her state’s bid. She admitted that key stages remained.
“People will fight,” she warned.