Twenty state or territory Democratic parties intend to apply to hold early presidential nominating contests in 2024, a DNC official told CNN on Saturday, as the party reevaluates its candidate selection process.
The Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Regulations Committee, which is responsible for determining the party’s nominating process, voted last month to open a nominations process for states that want to hold contests sooner. The criteria the committee will consider revolve around diversity, competitiveness and the feasibility of holding an inclusive early competition. In recent cycles, four states — Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina — have held the first contests on the presidential nominating calendar.
These four state organizations joined 16 others in sending letters to the DNC before Friday’s deadline, indicating that they intended to apply for one of five slots for the first competitions. Iowa, which is largely white and voted for then-President Donald Trump by 8 points in 2020, has a complicated and time-consuming caucus system instead of a state-run primary and is expected to be the most at risk of losing its first place.
In his letter of intent, Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Ross Wilburn touted his state as an opportunity for candidates to engage in grassroots campaigns and connect with rural voters who have drifted away. party in recent years.
“It is crucial that potential Democratic candidates hear the voices of rural Democrats and learn firsthand about the economic, social and cultural issues that impact their lives. Iowans take this role very seriously. If, as Democrats, we wish to protect and expand our electoral map, presidential candidates must continue to hear those voices,” Wilburn wrote.
While Wilburn told reporters Wednesday that Iowa Democrats were not looking to move from caucuses to a primary, he said the state party is committed to reforming the process to make it simpler and more accessible. .
“We also plan to engage with many stakeholders across Iowa to explore substantive changes to caucuses that would make them more streamlined and accessible,” Wilburn said. “It’s important to us to continue to evolve the Iowa caucuses so that as many people as possible can participate in this proud tradition.”
With Iowa’s status in question and the DNC seeking to have every region of the country represented in the first nominating group, several other Midwestern states are making their national party submissions, including Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota and Nebraska.
“Nebraska is in the middle of everywhere — with a mix of urban, suburban and rural voters as well as an inexpensive media market — offering candidates a real opportunity to break through with a grassroots campaign that builds the party,” said the State Democratic Party chair Jane. Kleeb, wrote in his letter.
Democrats from Georgia and Texas also throw their hats in the ring. In 2020, current President Joe Biden became the first Democrat to win Georgia since 1992, and he lost Texas by 6 points.
Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa has touted his state’s diversity as a key selling point.
“It will be essential in the 2024 elections to choose the states that best reflect the great diversity of our country. Texas, with its thriving and growing ethnic and industrial diversity, offers the competitiveness and inclusiveness that will be key to inspiring voters across our nation,” he said in a statement.
Other states that submitted letters of intent include Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Colorado, Washington, and Oklahoma, as well as party organizations representing Puerto Rico and Democrats. living abroad.
States have until early June to submit their formal nominations. The DNC’s Rules and Regulations Committee will then hear presentations from the shortlisted nominees and select a group of states over the summer. This decision will then have to be approved by the entire DNC.