Biden's Primary Proposal: Let South Carolina Go First

Iowa, New Hampshire aren't fans of the idea
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2022 1:22 AM CST
Biden: Let's Replace Iowa With South Carolina in Primary Order
President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference with French President Emmanuel Macron in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Biden is proposing what USA Today calls a "massive overhaul" of the primary calendar, though the final decision rests with the Democratic National Committee. Biden's idea is to replace Iowa, whose caucuses currently kick off the nominating season, with South Carolina. Under his proposal, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Georgia, and Michigan would hold the first primaries. New Hampshire currently holds the first primary in the nation, though its primary is held after the Iowa caucuses.

Iowa has come under increasing fire: Its overwhelmingly white populace is not representative of the country as a whole, it will have no Democratic members in the next Congress, and the "botching" of Democratic results from the 2020 caucuses didn't help matters much, NBC News reports. In his proposal, Biden said Democrats should nix caucuses entirely. "For decades, Black voters, in particular, have been the backbone of the Democratic Party but have been pushed to the back of the early primary process,” Biden said in offering his recommendations.

"We rely on these voters in elections but have not recognized their importance in our nominating calendar," he continued. "It is time to stop taking these voters for granted, and time to give them a louder and earlier voice in the process." Both Iowa and New Hampshire, not surprisingly, pushed back. "These are only recommendations and we will continue to fight for Iowa's place in the nominating process," says one DNC member from Iowa. And from New Hampshire's Democratic Party chair: "The DNC did not give New Hampshire the first-in-the-nation primary and it is not theirs to take away." Whatever the DNC decides, Republicans are sticking with Iowa first for this election cycle. (Read more primary stories.)

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