It’s a bold strategy, Cotton — let’s see if it pays off for them. I’d guess naah, but I’m not sure the DNC loses as much as one would presume by making a move to end decades of dominance by Iowa and New Hampshire in Democratic presidential primaries.
It does tend to make a hash of Joe Biden’s pandering visit this week to Iowa touting his new ethanol-boosting policies, though:
Members of the Rules and Bylaws Committee, which governs the nominating process, are meeting this week to consider a proposal that would overhaul the party’s traditional calendar, in which Iowa’s caucuses go first, followed by primaries in New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.
Instead, committee members are discussing a proposal that would require states or territories to apply if they want to hold a nominating contest before Super Tuesday in early March, and up to five early contests would be allowed. …
In 2020, neither of the first two states’ winners went on to win the Democratic presidential nomination. And many have argued that neither state, both of which are largely white, is diverse enough to lead the nominating process.
True enough, but only as far as the presidential election went. Democrats ended up losing seats in the House while Biden narrowly won the presidency, thanks in large part to a disconnect between Democrats and rural Americans. Biden’s rapid transition from a centrist candidate to a progressive-squared president came afterward, but one does have to think that Iowa and New Hampshire at least forced Biden and others to grapple with the more centrist parts of the country.
At any rate, Iowa suuuuuure seems important to Biden now, as he tries to extricate himself from a confidence-crisis collapse and economic ineptitude.
If the DNC was ever going to execute this kind of change, though, this is likely the best time for such boldness. Democrats have no chance in Iowa in this cycle and likely for several cycles to come, so they probably have nothing to lose there. New Hampshire is a different story — it’s still competitive, as the 2020 election proved — Biden won it by seven points, in fact. It’s likely to be a close-run state in 2024, unless Democrats anger the electorate enough to convince the state to embrace the GOP. They can fix that problem by allowing New Hampshire to get one of those early five slots, but only on a quadrennial-by-quadrennial basis. The fact that New Hampshire holds an election rather than a caucus will be a major selling point for that grant, especially in the first election cycle in which this policy would apply.
Of course, Iowa will likely ignore the DNC and hold the caucus early anyway. And if they do, what will the DNC do then — reject the results? That would indeed be a bold strategy, Cotton.