DES MOINES, Iowa – On Friday, the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee voted to change the order of the presidential selection process, moving Iowa out of the first position.
This vote followed a proposal from President Joe Biden, who stated that a state that has a caucus shouldn’t lead the process.
South Carolina will lead off the new early window on February 3, 2024, followed by New Hampshire and Nevada on February 6, Georgia on February 13, and Michigan on February 27.
Iowa and New Hampshire were the only members who voted against the early window plan for the Democratic presidential selection process.
Iowa Democratic Party Chair Ross Wilburn addressed Biden’s proposal.
“Small rural states like Iowa must have a voice in our Presidential nominating process. Democrats cannot forget about entire groups of voters in the heart of the midwest without doing significant damage to the party for a generation. I’m proud of the commitment Iowa Democrats have made to advance diverse Presidential candidates over the years,” he said.
“It’s disappointing to see a characterization of caucuses that does not reflect the historic reforms that we proposed. The new Iowa Caucuses will be simplified vote-by-mail process that increases accessibility and grows our Party,” he added.
Wilburn noted that state law requires Iowa to schedule its caucuses first. He also said it is unlikely that legislation establishing a presidential primary would pass and said the state party would follow the state’s legal requirements.
State Auditor Rob Sand, the only Democratic statewide elected official who won re-election, criticized the decision.
“As I always say, no one does a better job of testing candidates than Iowans. Winning here might be hard work but I don’t think it is good for a party or a country to shy away from hard work,” he tweeted.
Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate, a Republican, criticized the decision.
“I am very disappointed in the Democratic National Committee’s decision to apparently abandon Iowa. For 50 years, this state has done a fantastic job at vetting the candidates who wish to lead this nation. Iowans make presidential hopefuls from both parties answer the tough questions and undergo the rigors of earning their vote through grassroots campaigning. Without Iowa propelling him, it’s doubtful Barack Obama would have ever become president and it’s unfortunate the Democratic Party has forgotten that fact,” he said.
The Republican National Committee recommitted to keeping Iowa first in their presidential section process.
“I’m very pleased that the Republican National Committee will maintain Iowa’s First-in-the-Nation caucus status. I also agree with Iowa Democratic Party Chair Ross Wilburn’s statement that Iowa Code requires the political parties to conduct caucuses prior to any other presidential nominating contest, and they plan to adhere to the State of Iowa’s legal requirements,” he added.