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Democrats set to drop Iowa and promote Michigan in 2024 presidential primaries


WASHINGTON — Democrats are poised to drop Iowa and move up Michigan in their presidential primary schedule starting in 2024, according to several Democratic officials involved in the process.

Party members debating the future of their nominating process are eagerly awaiting word from the White House ahead of a key meeting on Friday, and a senior official said it was “safe to say” Michigan was the preference of President Joe Biden.

New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina will likely retain their top spots, while Iowa would lose its nation-leading status. Many insiders expect Michigan to follow the other three states.

The reshuffle, which party insiders expect to be formally proposed at a meeting of the Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee beginning Friday, is intended to simultaneously bolster the influence of nonwhite voters in the voting process. nomination and to ensure that Democrats choose standard bearers who can compete effectively. against the Republicans in the battleground states.

“I want our main process to reflect the direction of our party,” said one committee member. Michigan offers racial and ethnic diversity, as well as a mix of urban, suburban and rural voters, the person said, adding that “Iowa just doesn’t have that.”

Final ratification will take place at the next meeting of the full DNC early next year, but White House approval cleared the way for the new plan.

Michigan, which has been considered a top contender for weeks, is a battleground state in the Midwest, critical to the Democrats’ so-called blue wall, and has the racial, economic and geographic diversity that Democrats have. declared search. It is also much larger than any of the other early states.

Democrats also flipped the Michigan Legislature and Governor Gretchen Whitmer won re-election last month., ensure state support for the new primary date. The Michigan State Senate voted on Tuesday to move its presidential primary to the second Tuesday in February, a month earlier than its current date.

“It’s something that people have been asking for for a long time. I think it would be great for our state. I think we would be great,” Rep. Haley Stevens, D-Mich., told NBC News on Thursday.

While Nevada is expected to retain its top spot in the West, it would be a disappointment to its top political and party officials if it weren’t first, who have perhaps been the most aggressive in their attempts to supplant New Hampshire to become first in the nation.

“You can get into that state when you run for president and [if] your message resonates and you reach Nevada, then this message will carry you across the rest of the country. said Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto in an interview. “Nevada is a microcosm of the rest of the country.”

South Carolina, which propelled then-nominee Joe Biden to the top contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, also retained its No. 1 spot in the South.

Dozens of other states have submitted bids to join the early states, which are allowed by the Democratic and Republican parties to hold their nominating contests before others.

Democrats have been reviewing their schedule since 2020, when Iowa Democrats botched their caucuses, a debacle that followed years of criticism that the increasingly Republican state is too politically red and too white. demographically to play such a critical role in the selection of Democratic candidates. .

In his three White House runs, Joe Biden never performed well in Iowa. He died in the state in 1998, won less than 1% of caucuses in 2008 and came in fourth place in 2020.

As president and leader of his party, Biden’s opinion carries weight, even though most expect him to run essentially unopposed for the Democratic nomination in 2024.

Republicans still plan to stick with Iowa, which has held the nation’s coveted premier status since the 1970s. That means the two parties will have different presidential primary cards for the first time in years.

Some in Iowa have threatened to hold their caucuses early regardless of what the DNC says, but states that try to line up or disobey the national party risk losing representation at national conventions, where presidential candidates presidency are officially selected.

The DNC refused to host half of the delegates from Michigan and Florida in 2008 after the states advanced their primaries without permission.

Sahil Kapour contributed.



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