The Democratic National Committee is delaying until after November’s midterm elections a highly anticipated decision on reordering the top of their 2024 presidential nominating calendar.
The DNC had been expected to decide as early as this upcoming week whether Iowa and New Hampshire — which have held the first two contests in the DNC’s presidential primary and caucus schedule for half a century — would keep their traditional lead-off positions, or if the party would shake up the order and place a more diverse state in the lead-off slot.
The DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee, in a letter to party officials that was obtained Fox News on Saturday, explained that they will push back any decision on which states they’ll recommend obtaining carve-out status, meaning those states would get to hold their presidential nominating primary in a pre-window ahead of March 2024, when the remaining states are allowed start holding their contests.
Rules and Bylaws co-chairs James Roosevelt, Jr. and Minyon Moore wrote that they would “postpone a committee decision on the pre-window line until after the midterm elections.”
“Following the midterm elections, we will reconvene to update our evaluation of the applicant pool and work towards a final decision to present to the full DNC for a vote, which DNC leadership has assured us they will make happen as soon after the midterm elections as is possible,” Roosevelt and Moore added.
Earlier this year the DNC moved to require Iowa — whose caucuses for half a century have kicked off the nominating calendar — New Hampshire, which has held the first primary for a century, and Nevada and South Carolina — which the last couple of cycles have held the third and fourth contests — to reapply for early state status in the 2024 calendar. Other states interested in moving up to the top of the calendar also were allowed to apply. The DNC is also considering allowing a fifth state to obtain carve-out status. The four existing early states plus 13 others are still in contention to land pre-window status.
The knock for years against Iowa and New Hampshire among many Democrats has been that they are too White, lack any major urban areas and aren’t representative of a Democratic Party that’s become increasingly diverse over the past several decades. Nevada and South Carolina are much more diverse than either Iowa or New Hampshire.
Complicating matters, Nevada Democrats last year passed a bill into law that would transform the state’s presidential caucus into a primary and aim to move the contest to the lead-off position in the race for the White House, ahead of Iowa and New Hampshire. And compounding Iowa’s issues was the botched reporting of the 2020 caucuses, which became a national and international story and an embarrassment for Iowa Democrats as well as the DNC.
The current conventional wisdom is that Iowa, due to its 2020 caucus reporting woes and the fact that it has trended towards the GOP in recent general election cycles, is likely to lose its lead-off position, while New Hampshire is expected to potentially keep its early state status, thanks in part to running a smooth primary which allows independents to vote in either party’s contests — and which remains a heavily contested general election battleground.
But a major sticking point is New Hampshire’s state law that shields its first-in-the-nation status, giving the secretary of state the power to move up the date of the contest to protect primary tradition. A showdown would likely occur if the DNC kept New Hampshire second in the calendar but moved another state’s primary to the top of the order.
The Rules and Bylaws Committee was expected to make a final recommendation when it meets again in the coming days. And the full DNC membership would have voted on the recommendation when the national party holds its summer meeting in early September. But that timetable has now been delayed until after the midterms.
The decision to delay the decision-making process will likely be a relief to New Hampshire Democrats, who had expressed concerns that if they had lost their cherished position as the first presidential primary state, it may have been detrimental to Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan’s re-election bid this November. Hassan, a former governor in the key general election battleground state, is facing a potentially challenging re-election and Republicans in the state have said they would criticize the senator over the loss of the presidential primary position.
RNC to announce convention city
The Republican National Committee is sticking with tradition.
The RNC full membership in April voted unanimously to make no changes to their 2024 presidential nominating calendar, keeping Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada as their four early voting states.
The vote, at the RNC’s spring training meeting in Memphis, Tennessee, approved recommendations passed by a committee at the national party’s winter meeting in February. That panel was chaired by Iowa GOP chair Jeff Kaufmann and included the Republican Party chairs of the three other early voting states.
The RNC gathers later this week in Chicago, to hold its annual summer meeting and is expected to vote on which city will host its 2024 presidential nominating convention. Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Nashville, Tennessee, are the two finalist cities, with political pundits considering Milwaukee the favorite.
Sununu in Iowa
Republican Gov. Chris Sununu of New Hampshire, who some political prognosticators view as a potential 2024 GOP White House hopeful, was in Iowa this weekend.
Sununu took part in the Run GenZ Summer Summit, where he along with his father – former New Hampshire Gov. John H. Sununu — and former longtime Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad highlighted the importance of Iowa and New Hampshire’s cherished positions kicking off the nominating calendar.
Run GenZ describes itself as a non-profit organization focused on “empowering and mentoring conservative trailblazers from Generation Z to pursue leadership opportunities, including public office that allow them to work toward a more constitutionally-focused government.”
Sununu, in an interview with Fox News Digital two weeks ago, dismissed 2024 speculation, saying his eyes are fixed on his own gubernatorial re-election this year.
“I’m not thinking past re-election. Right. If I don’t close the deal in November and earn those votes and get out and talk to voters, then nothing else really matters. So no, I’m solely focused on New Hampshire,” Sununu said.