DNC to swap Iowa for South Carolina as first primary state

by sam

Samuel Case, FISM News


The Democratic National Committee’s rule-making arm voted on Friday to switch Iowa for South Carolina as the first primary state in the 2024 election cycle, the AP reports. The changeup makes for the first presidential primary without Iowa leading since 1968.

The change follows technical issues in the 2020 Iowa caucus and an ongoing push from top Democrats to start the primary season in states with more minority voters. 

President Joe Biden sent a letter to the committee last week where he said the party “must ensure that voters of color have a voice in choosing our nominee much earlier in the process and throughout the entire early window.”

He later noted, “Too often over the past fifty years, candidates have dropped out or had their candidacies marginalized by the press and pundits because of poor performances in small states early in the process before voters of color can cast a vote.” 

Under the new schedule, which follows Biden’s personal recommendations, South Carolina will kick off the Democratic primary on Feb. 3, followed by Nevada, New Hampshire, Georgia, and Michigan in the following days and weeks.

According to NPR between 1976 and 2020, there have been ten Democratic Iowa caucus winners, “seven of which have gone on to secure the party’s nomination.”

Biden defied the odds in 2020 by winning the Democratic nomination after failing to finish in the top three of either of the first two primaries. In a Saturday report for the Washington Examiner Dan Belz suggests that Biden’s motivation may be motivated by “political self-interest” as his success in South Carolina’s primary “saved his candidacy.”

The proposed changes won’t be officially voted on until next year, but the AP says the DNC  “will almost certainly follow the rule-making committee’s lead.”

“For the .000001 percent of people who follow this stuff, this is equivalent to an earthquake,” said Julian Castro, the former Housing and Urban Development secretary, in an interview with The New York Times.

According to Biden’s letter, shaking up the DNC primary schedule will give minorities a “louder and stronger voice” in the selection of the party’s candidate, as several candidates bow out of the election due to poor early primary performances before “voters of color cast a vote.”

Meanwhile, the Republican party has already voted to keep Iowa as the first primary state in 2024.

Jeff Kaufmann, the Iowa GOP Chair, tweetedIowans take their responsibility seriously and stand ready to kick off our nation’s presidential nominating process!”