Democratic primaries could start in South Carolina rather than Iowa

Spread the love

Democratic primaries could start in South Carolina rather than Iowa

President Biden wants to give more importance to African-American voters, the “backbone” of the party, he asserts.

President Joe Biden in early November, ahead of the midterm elections.

The Democratic Party on Friday approved a major shake-up to its primary schedule, a proposal by President Joe Biden that will strengthen the influence of the African-American vote in the selection of the candidate for the White House starting in 2024.

The octogenarian president, who said he was considering a second term at the head of the United States, had suggested this reorganization in a letter sent Thursday to the committee in charge of the operating rules of the Democratic Party.

Historically, the long process of the American primaries begins in the State of Iowa, which has an atypical voting system: caucuses, traditional assemblies of voters. This gives disproportionate influence to this small, rural state with a predominantly white population.

Mr. Biden suggested instead getting the primary ball rolling in the southern state of South Carolina, which has a large African-American population.

The committee has approved that proposal on Friday in a show of hands, with only members representing Iowa and New Hampshire voting against. The new calendar will be submitted in February 2023 to the vote of the entire party leadership.

The committee proposes that the first Democratic primary be held on February 3 in South Carolina, followed by Nevada and New Hampshire on the 6th, Georgia on the 13th and Michigan on the 27th.

Before the 2020 presidential election, Mr. Biden had suffered several failures in the primaries of Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada, before winning a very large victory in South Carolina which allowed him to turn the tide and to finally be chosen to challenge Donald Trump.

To justify his choice to reshuffle a timetable etched in decades of practice, Mr. Biden explained that securing the Democratic Party nomination had become impossible without broad support from voters of color, whether they are African American, Hispanic, Asian or Pacific Islander.

“For decades, black voters have notably been the backbone of the Democratic Party, but they are being pushed towards the end of the primary process.

—Joe Biden, in a letter to the Democratic Party Operating Committee

It's time to stop taking these voters for granted, and it's time to offer them an earlier and more visible vote in this process, Mr. Biden added in his letter.

The presidential proposal had been freshly welcomed by the Democratic leadership in Iowa and New Hampshire, two small states accustomed to shining alone in the spotlight at the start of the primaries, attracting huge campaign funds as a result. /p>

Small, rural states like Iowa must have a voice in the presidential nomination process, insisted Ross Wilburn, the local leader of the Democratic Party.

New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley said his state would still hold its primaries first.

We survived previous attempts for decades and we will survive this one, he added. Our primaries, the first in the nation, have been an integral part of our state for over 100 years and are enshrined in our laws.

The Republican Party still plans to hold its first primary in Iowa in 2024, as Donald Trump said in a statement on Friday.

Previous Article
Next Article