Following a plan blessed by President Joe Biden, next year’s nominating calendar will kick off with South Carolina on Feb. 3, followed by Nevada on Feb. 6 and Michigan on Feb. 27. Georgia, which was initially elevated to a top slot, wasn’t able to change its date, due to its Republican-controlled legislature and governor’s mansion. That means Iowa is effectively eliminated from the early-state process, while New Hampshire’s fate is still unclear.
Earlier this year, New Hampshire was granted an extension to mid-October to comply with the DNC’s rules. But the state may be running out of time. The committee is scheduled to discuss the state’s plans at its Friday morning meeting, according to a committee agenda viewed by POLITICO. New Hampshire Democrats, meanwhile, have insisted that, based on state law, they have no choice but to hold a primary set by New Hampshire’s secretary of state, who has pledged to leapfrog any other states.
Iowa’s demise — at least for 2024 — is clearer cut. State Democrats came under fire from the national party for their handling of the 2020 Democratic presidential caucuses, when they failed to declare a winner for several days. The state also faced stiff criticism for its predominantly white population, which Democratic Party leaders said wasn’t representative of the party as a whole.
But for Iowa Democrats, this is a long game. In a letter to the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee, Iowa Democratic Party Chair Rita Hart said she’d received “repeated reassurance from the co-chairs and this committee” that Iowa will “compete strongly for a significant voice” in future early nominating contests.
Republicans are still expected to hold their first nominating contest of 2024 in Iowa, on Jan. 15.
Democrats in the state said they will mail presidential preference cards Jan. 12, while holding their in-person precinct caucuses on Jan. 15, timed with the Republican presidential primary caucuses. But to comply with the DNC — and minimize the significance of the contest — the Iowa Democratic Party plans to accept preference cards postmarked any time before March 5, Super Tuesday, and won’t release the results of their mail-in caucus until then.