WASHINGTON (AP) — The Democratic Party delayed a decision Saturday on reordering its primary calendar for the 2024 presidential election until the November midterm elections.
The Democratic National Committee’s Rules Committee plans to meet next week in Washington to decide whether to recommend that presidential voting begin with Iowa and New Hampshire.
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Current no. 3 and no. 4, which comes amid calls by some party leaders and activists for more diverse states to move up, including Nevada and South Carolina.
The committee is also considering adding a fifth early primary before “Super Tuesday,” when large numbers of states traditionally vote.
But Rules Committee co-chairs Jim Roosevelt Jr. and Mignon Moore wrote in a memo to members, “After talking with many of you over the last few weeks about the last few steps of this process, it is clear that this is the best way forward. Moving forward with the final step of the process means postponing the committee’s decision on the early window rule until after the midterm elections.
The committee will still meet starting Friday, but now doesn’t plan to make a decision until after Nov. 8, election day — meaning the preliminary calendar decision won’t affect key congressional races. Iowa and New Hampshire argue that losing their seats in the first and second places could hurt Democrats in the states’ top races, especially since the Republican Party has already said Iowa will hold the lead in its 2024 primaries.
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“Following the midterm elections, we will reconvene to update our assessment of the applicant pool and work on a final decision to present to the full DNC for a vote, which DNC leadership has assured us will happen soon after the midterm elections. It is possible,” Roosevelt and Moore wrote, “in the coming weeks. We will work with the applicants to iron out the final details.”
Sixteen states and Puerto Rico made appearances before the rules committee earlier this summer, or at least in the top five. The party is looking at diversity, electoral competitiveness and logistical feasibility in its decision-making.
That means looking at states’ racial and ethnic makeup, union membership rates, and how large they are in terms of demographics and geography, which can affect direct voter engagement and travel and advertising spending.