The Democratic National Committee approved a presidential primary calendar Saturday that placed South Carolina as the first nominating state in 2024, pushing back New Hampshire and Iowa from their traditional spots in a party-wide push to diversify the early calendar.
In a voice vote at the DNC’s winter meeting in Philadelphia, party members voted to place South Carolina first, on Saturday Feb. 3, 2024, followed three days later by Nevada and New Hampshire on Feb. 6, and a week after that by Georgia on Feb. 13 and then by Michigan on Feb. 27.
“Folks, the Democratic Party looks like America, and so does this proposal,” said DNC Chairman Jaime Harrison.
The vote gave formal approval to a proposal first put forward by the Rules and Bylaws Committee in early December, which came after a year of presentations from state candidates. It also fulfilled a desire by President Joe Biden to emphasize South Carolina and Nevada over New Hampshire and Iowa, whose populations are majority white.
“We can’t go back in time to fix the mistakes of our past, but by golly, this will help allow us to put our hands on that arc of history and bend it towards justice,” said Pete Lee, the vice chairman of the Democratic Party of Oregon, during a debate ahead of the vote.
But the DNC vote clashes with the Republican National Committee’s vote in April 2022 to keep the traditional nominating order for its primaries: Iowa, followed by New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada. It also set into motion what is likely to be a bitter conflict in New Hampshire and Iowa over their positions on the calendar.
For its part, New Hampshire has a state law that requires both Republican and Democratic presidential primaries to be held together before any other state’s, and its secretary of state, Dave Scanlan, has vowed to hold it first no matter what.
On Saturday, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu reiterated that vow. Read more