Biden shakes up 2024 presidential primary calendar; South Carolina would be first

Democrats voted Friday in favor of a proposal to change the Democratic primary calendar by making South Carolina the first state to vote instead of Iowa, according to multiple reports.

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Update 4:05 p.m. EST Dec. 2: The rule-making arm of the Democratic National Committee on Friday voted to make South Carolina the first state to hold a primary in 2024, The Associated Press reported.

The proposal would see Nevada and New Hampshire voters next going to the polls followed by voters in Georgia and then voters in Michigan, according to CNN.

— Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group

Original report: President Joe Biden says he wants to shake up the decades-old Democratic primary calendar, pushing back Iowa, the traditional starting place for the presidential nomination process, in favor of South Carolina.

The proposed change in order of primaries was announced Thursday night by the Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws committee, Politico reported. The change will break “a half-century of precedent that put Iowa at the front of the line.”

“We must ensure that voters of color have a voice in choosing our nominee much earlier in the process and throughout the entire early window,” Biden wrote in a letter to DNC members. “As I said in February 2020, you cannot be the Democratic nominee and win a general election unless you have overwhelming support from voters of color — and that includes Black, Brown and Asian American & Pacific Islander voters.”

The president’s direction comes as the DNC rules committee gathers in Washington on Friday to discuss making changes to presidential primary calendar starting in 2024, The Associated Press reported.

The move is expected to be approved. It would put the South Carolina primary first on Feb. 6, 2024, then have the New Hampshire and Nevada primaries a week later, on Feb. 13.

Biden also suggested that Georgia’s primary be moved to Feb. 20, and Michigan’s primary be on Feb. 27, according to Politico.

As it stands, Iowa’s caucus represents the first casting of votes in the nation’s presidential election followed by New Hampshire, which has held the nation’s first primary since 1920.

The changes in the primary calendar would still have to be approved by the full DNC. The vote would likely come early next year.

The suggestion that the Democratic National Committee will move the date of their party’s Iowa caucus, left Iowa Republicans angry.

“... I’m telling you right now, they don’t want to play chicken with me. This is pure, progressive, power politics,” Jeff Kaufmann, the chair of the Iowa GOP, said.

“I’ll move this thing to Halloween if that’s what it takes.”

The Republican National Committee has announced that it will keep Iowa’s caucus as the first contest in its 2024 presidential calendar, the AP reported.

Biden also urged the party to drop caucuses in favor of primary votes because caucuses are “restrictive and anti-worker,” he said.

Biden said caucuses require voters “to spend significant amounts of time” on one night, thus “disadvantaging hourly workers and anyone who does not have the flexibility to go to a set location at a set time.”

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