Is Biden trying to fix the 2024 Democratic primary to his advantage?
Some members of President Joe Biden’s own Democratic Party aren’t happy with his plan to strip Iowa and New Hampshire of their first-to-vote status in the Democratic presidential primary.
Biden has requested that the Democratic National Committee make South Carolina the first state to vote in the party’s 2024 primary, replacing two states that have traditionally voted first in presidential primaries.
In response, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire announced her plans to skip the White House Congressional Ball in a protest of Biden’s treatment of her own state.
A representative for Shaheen confirmed that the Democratic senator was more interested in defending New Hampshire’s primary status than attending the White House event on Monday.
New in @PunchbowlNews Midday: As anger mounts in the New Hampshire delegation over Biden’s primary plan, Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is skipping tonight’s WH Congressional Ball.
Shaheen spox: “Tonight, Senator Shaheen is focused on helping to make New Hampshire’s case heard.”
— Max Cohen (@maxpcohen) December 5, 2022
Much of the Democratic antipathy towards the current primary order stems from New Hampshire and Iowa’s racial demographics.
In a letter to the DNC, Biden called for his party to place “more diverse states earlier in the process” and “more diversity in the overall mix of early states.”
Iowa would be entirely booted from the first round of states under Biden’s proposed rule change.
SCOOP: Biden calls for South Carolina to be the first ‘24 presidential primary, followed by New Hampshire and Nevada on same day, Georgia, then Michigan, in massive shuffle of tradition, per officials. Iowa is out. w/ @tylerpager Story linked in thread…
— Michael Scherer (@michaelscherer) December 2, 2022
Michigan and Georgia would instead become early primary states — both states which Biden won overwhelmingly in 2020.
The Democratic National Committee’s rule-making arm voted to heed Biden’s imperative in a Friday vote, although rescheduling state primaries to his liking will have to undergo a vote from the full DNC next year, according to PBS.
The vote called for New Hampshire to share its traditional second-in-the-nation status with Nevada.
Nevada traditionally votes third in party nominating contests, with South Carolina fourth.
Biden’s South Carolina win in 2020 resurrected a campaign that was on its last legs, with many pundits writing off the former vice president after he failed to secure a primary victory in any of the first three states of the Democratic primary.
Bernie Sanders won the popular vote in the first three states to vote in the 2020 primary.
Biden’s rule change would have the effect of prioritizing a state that he won, potentially capping future challenges to establishment Democrats from progressives such as Sanders.
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