Biden’s Proposed Changes To Democratic Primary Schedule Approved By Party
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has agreed with President Joe Biden’s plan to change the order in which states conduct their presidential primary races.
Instead of Iowa and New Hampshire, South Carolina will now be the first 2024 state to vote in the Democratic Primary election, if the DNC is able to ratify their plans through state governments.
The states that go earlier in primary elections hold more power in selecting a party’s presidential nominee, as it can influence the remaining states.
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South Carolina, which is much more racially diverse than either Iowa or New Hampshire, has personal significance to Biden; it’s the state that arguably reinvigorated his potentially dying 2020 presidential primary campaign. In hindsight, the state was key to defeating his main opponent at the time, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont).
The DNC’s changes to the primary schedule have been controversial, especially in New Hampshire whose early voting position is an aspect of state pride. Others, such as Sanders’ former campaign manager Faiz Shakir, argue that South Carolina is a solidly Republican state, and Democrats should give Democratic voters in competitive swing states a shot.
Others argue that it is long overdue for communities of color, especially African Americans who have long been the base of the Democratic Party, to have more power in selecting the party’s nominee.
“This is a significant effort to make the presidential primary nominating process more reflective of the diversity of this country,” said Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Michigan) in a recent interview.
While the DNC is marketing their decision as a move to increase the power of communities of color in the Democratic Party, the failure of Iowa Democrats to smoothly run their complex-caucus style primary in 2020, leading to multiple candidates claiming victory in the state, is a key motivating factor as well.
Several key states must still ratify the new schedule.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) approved the new primary date for Michigan this week, signing the bill that moves it up to Feb. 27.
Several high-ranking Democrats, such as close Biden-ally Rep. James Clyburn (D-South Carolina) have taken Biden’s interest in the new primary line-up as an indication that he will run for the Democratic nomination again in 2024.
Clyburn said that when talking to the president, he “made it very clear to him that I’m very hopeful that he will run for re-election.” Biden smiled back, according to Clyburn’s account.
Biden has not officially said that he will run again in 2024, but he has signaled many times that he intends to.
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