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Tipsheet

Democrats Look to 'Upend' Primary Schedule Ahead of 2024

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

While President Biden has remained tight-lipped about whether he'll run for a second term as president in the 2024 election — supposedly pending talks with his family about what's best — his party is taking nothing for granted and nervously working on shoring up their plans for a potential 2024 primary contest to nominate their candidate if Biden doesn't run or if he is challenged for the Democrat nomination nod.

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Later this week, the Democratic National Committee's rules committee will meet in D.C. for a meeting that Politico characterized as one that will "upend" the previously used primary calendar and likely remove Iowa's status as a key early state in the process. Especially after the state democrat party botched the 2020 caucuses in a nationwide embarrassment for the party — and there's a long line of other states whose Democrats are eager to replace Iowa or jockey for a better position in the Iowa-New Hampshire-Nevada-South Carolina lineup that Democrats have grown used to. 

Nevada Democrat Senator Catherine Cortez Masto has been vocal in advocating for her state to jump to the front of the "first in the nation" line:

And, as Politico noted, "Michigan and Minnesota are trying to push in," though it remains "unclear just how much will change" as a result of this week's meeting of DNC officials. Whatever schedule the rules committee selects will then need to "go before the full DNC for a vote in late January or early February."

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Iowa is not giving up its spot without a fight, though. Politico cited a letter from the state Democrat party's chairman they obtained in which Iowa Dems proposed an "all-mail vote expression of presidential preference" as a replacement for the chaotic caucus system that left Democrats unsure of who'd won the contest until nearly one week later. 

Apparently, however, DNC leaders are upset that President Biden, who may or may not run and may or may not be opposed for his party's nomination in 2024, hasn't weighed in on the matter. Politico got one DNC member to talk, anonymously of course, about the uncertainty being created by Biden:

If the president says he wants this state or that state in the early window, then I’m going to support it because he’s the leader of the party and I would imagine every other [rules committee] member feels the same way,” said one DNC member, who was granted anonymity to speak candidly. “So, it’s frustrating when we’ve invested all this time, energy and money into this whole process and the White House has given us nothing, even though we’re only days away from making a decision.”

“It’s almost like Kabuki theater,” the person continued.

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Sounds like the Democrats are in a little bit of disarray, perhaps, as they get closer to having to deal with 2024 and the uncertainty about who's going to be running for president on their behalf. 

So while Democrats try to figure out in which order states will express their preference for president in the 2024 cycle — one in which Biden may decide to run and do so unopposed making the calendar changes less important — Republicans have already affirmed the existing schedule, putting the two parties potentially out of sync as they've been in the past. 

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