By O. Kay Henderson (Radio Iowa)
The Democratic National Committee has voted to eliminate Iowa from the list of states that will start the party’s 2024 presidential campaign.
South Carolina is replacing Iowa as the lead-off state, followed by New Hampshire and Nevada, then Georgia and finally Michigan. it’s a sequence President Biden recommended in December. Democratic National Committee chairman Jaime Harrison of South Carolina said these changes are long overdue.
“It expands the number of voices in the early window and it elevates diverse communities that are at the core of the Democratic Party,” Harrison said.
Michigan Congresswoman Debbie Dingell drew cheers as she addressed national party leaders this weekend. “Here’s the reality: no one state should have the lock on going first,” Dingel said.
The delay in announcing the results of the 2020 Iowa Caucuses due to a faulty smart phone app intensified criticism of the caucuses, after decades of being first in the nation. Leah Daughtry of New York, the former chief of staff of the Democratic Party, said Iowa law requiring the Caucuses be first doesn’t give Iowa Democrats the divine right to defy party rules.
“We decided we wanted a calendar that will reflect who our party is now and not who our party was back then,” said Leah Daughtry of New York, the former chief of staff of the Democratic Party.
Scott Brennan, a former Iowa Democratic Party chairman, is also member of the Democratic National Committee. He warned the committee that two of the states selected to be in the early group cannot hold their primaries on the dates national party leaders have set.
“We are creating a situation of continued uncertainty that will drag on throughout 2023,” Brennan said. “…We can approve this calendar, but we will leave here with absolutely nothing settled.”
Iowa Democratic Party chairwoman Rita Hart has indicated the party will move ahead with its new vote-by-mail plan for the 2024 Iowa Caucuses.
“Iowa has been put in a position that makes it impossible to comply with both DNC rules and our own state law,” Hart said during remarks before the DNC vote, “which has exactly zero chance of being changed by the Republican legislature.”
Hart emphasized that Iowa Republicans will host Caucuses in 2024 that will kick off the GOP’s presidential campaign. “They feed the narrative that Democrats have turned their backs on Iowa and on rural America,” Hart said Saturday. “In the coming weeks, our state will be flooded with Republican hopefuls, spreading this damaging message to every corner of our state.”
This weekend, prominent Iowa Republicans began blasting that message via Twitter. Senator Joni Ernst said President Biden and Democrats were “giving middle America the middle finger.” Governor Kim Reynolds said President Biden was “too afraid” to face Iowa voters.