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Tipsheet

Democrats Approve Biden's New Primary Calendar

AP Photo/Charles Krupa

The Democratic National Committee approved President Joe Biden's shakeup of the party's 2024 primary calendar in a vote on Saturday by moving South Carolina to the lead position. 

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The move will bump Iowa and New Hampshire from their longtime positions. 

The DNC’s vote comes amid the party’s push to give more representation at the top of the schedule for Black and Hispanic voters. New Hampshire has fought hard against this, for a century has held the first primary in the race for the White House.

Under the new plan, South Carolina will hold its primary on Feb. 3, 2024, while New Hampshire and Nevada will hold their primaries three days later. Georgia’s primary will be on Feb. 13 and Michigan’s will be held two weeks later.

Ahead of the vote, New Hampshire Democratic Party chair Ray Buckley called the move a “mind-boggling, self-inflicted wound” that would likely hurt the 2024 Democrats candidate's chances in the key northeastern general election battleground state.

Biden argues that would empower minority voters, which the Democratic Party has relied on. 

In a statement DNC chair Jaime Harrison said 

“This committee put together a calendar proposal that reflects our values and will strengthen our party. This calendar does what is long overdue. It expands the number of voices in the early window. And it elevates diverse communities that are at core of the Democratic Party.”

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“The Democratic Party looks like America, and so does this proposal,” she continued. 

However, critics of Biden’s plan warn that it could do unforeseen damage to the party. 

“It's vital that small rural states like Iowa should not lose our voice in the presidential nominating process," Iowa Democratic Party chair Rita Hart said. “Democrats cannot forget about entire groups of voters in the heart of the Midwest without doing significant damage to the party."

For New Hampshire to keep its voting slot in the new calendar, it would need to do away with a state law that protects its first-in-the-nation primary status and would need to expand legislation to access early voting. However, with Republicans in control of the state’s governor’s office and both houses of the state legislature, Democrats claim there’s no chance of this happening. 


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