Biden Pushes To Make South Carolina The First Democratic Primary State In 2024
President Joe Biden is pushing to make South Carolina the first primary state in 2024 to increase diversity in the Democratic Party’s nominating process. The move would drastically change the presidential nomination calendar.
The new order of primaries would be as follows: South Carolina, where more than half of the population is black, on February 6, Nevada and New Hampshire on February 13, followed by Georgia’s primary on February 20 and Michigan’s on February 27.
The reordering would end a decades-long tradition of the “first in the nation” caucus in Iowa, which would be completely removed from the slot of early primaries that take place before Super Tuesday. It would also add a fifth state to that list.
In a letter to party officials, Biden said that the plan is an attempt to move to the top of the calendar states that better represent the diversity in the United States.
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The president added that Democratic candidates historically rely on voters of color, but they don’t get a chance to vote in the early process. In 2020, Biden finished in fifth in New Hampshire’s primary — currently the first in the nation — and won in South Carolina.
“For decades, Black voters in particular have been the backbone of the Democratic Party but have been pushed to the back of the early primary process,” Biden wrote in a letter to Democratic officials. “It is time to stop taking these voters for granted.”
The plan is set to be voted on by the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee, which is meeting Friday and Saturday and then approved by the full Committee in February.
Biden’s proposal sparked anger in New Hampshire, which would lose the spot of “first in the nation” primary. Being on top of the calendar is a big deal for states that can attract more campaign money and tend to be more relevant in the nomination process.
“It’s tremendously disappointing that the president failed to understand the unique role that New Hampshire plays in our candidate selection process as the first primary state,” New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D) said in a statement.
New Hampshire state law calls for holding the first primary in the nation, so officials have been threatening to move the state primary calendar to adapt to whatever decision DNC makes.
“We will always hold the First in the Nation Primary, and this status is independent of the president’s proposal or any political organization,” Sen. Maggie Hassan (D) said. “I look forward to welcoming Democratic and Republican candidates to New Hampshire — just like we always have.”
Earlier this year, the Republican National Committee voted to confirm its current lineup of early primary states: Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. The party vowed to sanction states that try to jump the line by removing some of their delegates.
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