Biden wants South Carolina to have its first primary in 2024


President Biden wants South Carolina to hold the first nominating contest in 2024, followed by Nevada, New Hampshire, then Michigan and Georgia – an unexpected proposal that upends nearly two years of debate between party leaders on how Democrats should choose candidates going forward.

The proposed change, unveiled in a letter Mr Biden sent to members of a Democratic National Committee band tasked with setting the rules of the road for the party’s nominating calendar and process, would allow “voters of color” to have a voice much earlier in the nominating process, the president wrote.

“I entered politics because of civil rights and the possibility of transforming our imperfect union into something better,” he said. “I have made no secret of my belief that diversity is a critical component for the Democratic Party to win elections AND govern effectively.”

“For fifty years, the first month of our presidential nomination process has been a valuable part of our democratic process, but it’s time to update the process for the 21st century,” the president added.

South Carolina, which has a large black population, played a central role in helping Mr. Biden land the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, after having a disappointing showing in the Iowa caucuses and New York primaries. Hampshire and Nevada.

Mr. Biden became the first Democrat in decades to win Georgia when he defeated then-President Donald Trump in the reliable red state. Georgia had not voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1992.

The committee will hold two days of meetings to make recommendations on the 2024 calendar starting Friday in Washington.

The current order of nominating contests is Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.

Since 1972, when Iowa and New Hampshire first secured the top spots, Iowa has chosen the eventual Democratic nominee eight times, and New Hampshire has chosen him nine times.

Mr. Biden’s proposal was quickly condemned by the New Hampshire Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan.

“It is extremely disappointing that the president has failed to understand the unique role that New Hampshire plays in our candidate selection process as the first primary state,” Shaheen said in a statement. “As frustrating as this decision is, it has no bearing on when we choose our primary date: New Hampshire state law dictates that we will hold the ‘First-in-the-Nation’ primary.” statute remains unchanged as we are bound by State Statute.”

Hassan called the proposal “misguided”.

“We will still hold the nation’s first primary, and that status is independent of the proposal of the president or any political organization,” Hassan said in a statement. “I look forward to welcoming Democratic and Republican candidates to New Hampshire, as we always have.”

The proposal was also criticized by Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Ross Wilburn, who said in a statement that “small, rural states like Iowa need to have a voice in our presidential nomination process. Democrats don’t can’t forget whole swaths of voters in the heart of the Midwest.” without causing significant damage to the party for a generation.”

In a joint statement, Nevada Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen said “the proposed new order for first states ignores the broad coalition of national organizations and leaders calling for Nevada to come first, and instead elevates an unresponsive state the criteria for starting this process.

Michigan officials, meanwhile, celebrated the potential for progress in their primary. Michigan Democratic Party Chair Lavora Barnes and Representative Debbie Dingell had been pushing for Michigan to become one of the first primary states.

“We have always said that any road to the White House is through the heartland and President Biden understands that,” they said in a joint statement.

The news was first reported by the Washington Post.

Sarah Ewall-Wice contributed to this report.


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