Democrats praise Biden’s major plan — but there’s unfinished business to be tackled

In South Carolina and Georgia, the DNC must work with Republican-controlled state legislatures and governors to change primary election dates. The Republican National Committee, which will hold an open contest for the presidential nomination in 2024, voted this year to confirm its current early state lineup of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. Nevada will also have a Republican governor by January, another factor that could hold back any changes to its state laws.

Meanwhile, New Hampshire law empowers election officials to ensure that its presidential primary is held first in the nation — and the DNC’s traditional methods of punishment for busting ranks and denying delegates won’t work in a state whose political standing never ceases. So important it gets from a handful of conference delegates. Democratic elected officials from New Hampshire reacted strongly to the plan on Thursday, pledging to go ahead with the nation’s first Democratic presidential primary.

Still, DNC rules committee co-chair Minyon Moore called Biden’s plan “a window worth fighting for.”

Friday’s meeting capped months of public and private lobbying by Democratic leaders from across the state interested in the prestige and influence that early presidential primaries bring.

It effectively ended Iowa’s hopes of retaining its No. 1 seat, after defeats in its 2020 caucus piled on top of intense scrutiny from its predominantly white population. Biden’s support for Michigan also dashed early state hopes in another Midwestern state, Minnesota. Ken Martin, chairman of the Democratic Farmers Labor Party, largely acknowledged his efforts Thursday night, according to several sources who attended the private meeting.

The DNC restarted the presidential nominating process earlier this year after mounting pressure from inside and outside the party to diversify the early state list and prioritize contests in general election battleground states. And among Biden’s proposals, he also called for the committee to review the early nomination process every four years, a signal from the White House that it doesn’t want states locking up coveted jobs.

The DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee is expected to come up with a new recommendation soon, after which it will be brought to the full DNC for a vote in early 2023.

Some DNC members, especially those representing states involved in the current early window, did voice polite dissent, at odds with Biden’s plans to draw the ire of a string of early state elected officials on Thursday night.

Artie Blanco, who represents Nevada, called for a “fine-tuning” of the plan, recommending that South Carolina move the date to Saturday, February 2. February 3, 2024 is an election weekend that South Carolina used to celebrate, so Nevada could pull ahead of New Hampshire and hold the election on February 12. 6.

Meanwhile, New Hampshire only marginally echoed comments from elected officials, including senators. Jenny Shaheen and Maggie Hassanhe expressed anger and disappointment at Biden’s proposal.

Joanne Dowdell, who represents New Hampshire on the committee, stressed that her state “has laws and we’re not going to break our laws,” suggesting New Hampshire could defy the DNC’s new mandate to hold its own without approval. primary election.

“That’s really the position of New Hampshire — we’re not going to break our laws,” Doddell said. “That’s my comment.”

Suggestions that states may still choose to hold unsanctioned primaries have also faced some opposition. Another DNC member, Mo Elleithee, said “the way we empower the DNC to enforce the decisions we’re going to make today” would be “much stronger” than past punishments for disorderly states.

Iowa State isn’t going to go quietly, either. Scott Brennan, a longtime Democratic operative from Iowa, said he couldn’t support the president’s proposal, arguing that by wiping out a rural Midwestern state, Democrats are “doing that part of the country” Create a self-fulfilling prophecy of electoral defeat”.

He also said the DNC rules committee could “vote on this calendar, but we’re going to get out of here without any resolution,” alluding to logistical challenges that remain between the concept and reality of the program.

But aside from some grievances in the early states, the committee generally supports Biden’s plan. Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers union, positioned South Carolina’s No. 1 “message about representation,” while Elaine Kamarck, who wrote a book on the junior process, noted that after South Carolina, “the other four The state, each, is a swing state.

“It’s a great template for the future,” she said.

Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison, who was in attendance, also said the proposed early window reflected “the diversity of our party” and “a fairer, more accessible nominating process that gives our candidates the best chance of winning.” .” Harrison is the former chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party.

But David McDonald, another longtime DNC member, did raise mild concerns that the commission’s introduction of larger states, including Michigan and Georgia, could “effectively [create] Bias against certain types of candidates,” especially those entering the presidential primary with deep pockets that would allow them to compete more effectively in an expensive media marketplace.

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