(PHILADELPHIA) — The Democratic National Committee near unanimously approved a reconfigured presidential primary calendar rubber-stamped by the White House at the group’s winter gathering on Saturday.
A few nay votes were drowned out by a sea of “ayes,” followed by cheering from inside the Sheraton Hotel ballroom in Philadelphia.
Under the new calendar, the 2024 Democratic presidential primary begins in South Carolina — the state that revived President Joe Biden’s campaign in the 2020 contest — on Feb. 3.
That primary would be followed by Nevada and New Hampshire on Feb. 6, Georgia on Feb. 13 and Michigan on Feb. 27.
Modernization and representation were two key guiding pillars for the DNC as they strategized changing their early nominating window. The committee debated for months over what sort of voter coalition could win Democrats votes.
“This calendar reflects who we are as a nation,” party chair Jamie Harrison said at Saturday morning’s meeting.
During Saturday’s session, members of the New Hampshire and Iowa caucuses protested the changes to the primary calendar.
“We are creating a situation of continued uncertainty that will drag on until 2023,” said Iowa DNC member Scott Brennan. “We will leave here with absolutely nothing settled.”
Rita Hart, Iowa party chair, argued this calendar “feeds the narratives” that Democrats have “turned their backs” on the rural Midwest.
“Democrats cannot forget about entire groups of voters in the heart of the Midwest without doing significant damage to the party,” Hart said.
Joanne Dowdell, a DNC member from New Hampshire, says the DNC is punishing them because they cannot change their law.
“And we are frustrated because as many times as we say it, no one seems to listen when we tell you that this will only hurt President Biden in our purple, battleground state,” said Dowdell.
Dowdell added: “If President Biden doesn’t file for the New Hampshire primary, it will provide an opening to an insurgent candidate to rise in the state and potentially win the first presidential primary of 2024- something that no one in this room wants to see.”
Former 2020 candidate author Marianne Williamson is teasing a Democrat challenge to Biden and will be visiting New Hampshire in the coming weeks.
“No one state should have a lock on going first,” responded Michigan Rep. Debbie Dingell, met with a round of applause.
Leah Daughtry also argued that other states are going to have to “shift” to make space for Black and Latino voters, saying that they are all not urban voters, asking the body to dispel with the idea non-White voters are somehow not rural and suburban.
Georgia election official Jordan Fuchs told ABC News back in December that there’s little appetite to move their primary up unless both parties can do so, without either receiving penalties from their respective national parties – another unlikely parameter.
“Our legal team has continuously stated that both party primaries are going to be on the same day and we will not cost anyone any delegates,” said Fuchs.
Both states will lose their early-state waiver if they are unable to meet compliance – and if they run their primary anyway, they risk losing convention delegates.
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