Iowa Democrats caved to the Democrat National Committee (DNC) on the party’s new presidential nominating calendar and will allow the state’s 2024 Democrat caucuses to move from one of the first contests in the nation, to an entirely vote-by-mail process with results released on March 5, or Super Tuesday.
The DNC rules panel on Friday approved the plan Iowa Democrats released earlier in the day that would see what has been the country’s first presidential contest since 1972 move to a months-long process where voters have from mid-January until March to mail-in their presidential preference card.
Registration to receive a card will begin on November 1, and they will start being mailed out on January 12. Democratic voters have until February 19 to request a card, and must have them mailed by March 5.
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But Iowa Democrat’s representative to the DNC panel said that the changes were only for 2024.
“We intend to be first in 2028,” said Scott Brennan told the DNC committee, the Des Moines Register reported. “So we’re here to support the president in 2024, and by releasing the results on March 5, that’s what we’re doing. But all bets are off for 2028.”
Iowa’s decision to comply with the DNC comes as the the party’s fight continues with the crucial early voting state of New Hampshire over an effort to dramatically refigure the 2024 presidential nominating calendar. The Granite State’s governor, Republican Chris Sununu, vowed it “will not back down” on its effort to keep its primary the first in the nation.
The DNC overwhelmingly voted in early February to dramatically alter the top of its presidential nominating calendar for the 2024 election cycle, bumping Iowa and New Hampshire from their longtime leadoff positions in favor of South Carolina in order to better reflect Black and Hispanic voters in the early primary contests.
Democrats for years have knocked both Iowa and New Hampshire as unrepresentative of the party as a whole, for being largely White with few major urban areas. Nevada and South Carolina, which in recent cycles have voted third and fourth on the calendar, are much more diverse than either Iowa or New Hampshire. Nevada and South Carolina were added to the Democratic calendar nearly two decades ago to increase the diversity of the early states electorate.
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But both Iowa and New Hampshire balked at the changes.
The DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee voted last month to grant New Hampshire — which for a century has held the first primary in the race for the White House — a third extension to give the state more time to come into compliance with the national party committee’s new schedule.
The move by the panel came after New Hampshire Secretary of State Dave Scanlan announced that his state’s presidential primary filing period would start on Oct. 11, leading to a contest that will likely be held in late January — ahead of South Carolina — and putting the Granite State on a collision course with the DNC.
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The extension unanimously granted by the DNC panel on Thursday would last until Oct. 14.
However, New Hampshire is likely to eventually be found in non-compliance and penalized, with the state all but certain to hold an unsanctioned primary that would probably keep President Biden from putting his name on the ballot.
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