For decades, the states of Iowa and New Hampshire played an oversized role in determining the presidential nominees for both the Democratic and Republican parties.
The power of these relatively small states comes from their position at the start of the presidential nominating calendar, giving voters in the two states the first choices in selecting their preferred nominees every four years.
President Joe Biden is recommending that South Carolina, the state that lifted him to front-runner status in the 2020 primaries, kick off the 2024 presidential nominating contest, and Democratic officials are comfortable with the plan.
While the move is a fairly obvious attempt at cheating, such antics are commonly accepted by voters, who have refused to punish gerrymandering, super PAC coordination or other such unscrupulous tactics.
On Friday, the Rules and Bylaws Committee of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) decided to reorganize the 2024 primary process, marking Biden’s control over the party by putting the state that turned around his prospects in 2020, in front of all others.
The new schedule, putting South Carolina first on Saturday, February 3, 2024, was a move that came as a surprise to top Democrats there. It is not clear whether Palmetto State lawmakers will cooperate by moving the primary in accordance with the Democratic President’s wishes.
The proposed calendar has New Hampshire and Nevada holding their nominating contests three days later on February 6, followed by Georgia on February 13 and Michigan on February 27.
The full Democratic National Committee will almost certainly ratify Biden’s calendar early next year.
Democratic victories in the midterm elections will smooth the way for some changes.
Michigan Democrats will hold the governor’s office and majorities in the state House and Senate for the first time in decades, so Republicans will not be able to obstruct the Democrats’ prospects of substituting the Michigan primary for the Iowa caucuses at the front of the Democratic presidential primary calendar order for 2024.
South Carolina does not provide for registration by party, so primaries in the state are open to any voter that wishes to participate in either party’s nominating process. Republicans have held firm on an Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada order again for 2024.