Democrats Rearrange Primaries

Party to lead off with South Carolina in 2024, increasing clout of voters of color
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 4, 2023 5:05 PM CST
Democrats Move Iowa From Top Spot in 2024
President Biden walks offstage Friday after speaking at the Democratic National Committee winter meeting in Philadelphia.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

The Democratic Party on Saturday approved reordering its 2024 presidential primaries, replacing Iowa with South Carolina in the leadoff spot as part of a major shake-up meant to empower Black and other minority voters critical to its base of support. Although more changes are possible later this year, the formal endorsement by the Democratic National Committee during its meeting in Philadelphia is an acknowledgement that the start of the 2024 primary will look very different from the one in 2020. Hundreds of party stalwarts climbed to their feet and cheered after the easy passage by voice vote, the AP reports.

"The Democratic Party looks like America, and so does this proposal,” said DNC chair Jaime Harrison, a South Carolinian. The change "continues to make us stronger and elevates the backbone of our party," he added. The new plan was championed by President Biden, who wrote to the DNC rules committee in December, saying, "We must ensure that voters of color have a voice in choosing our nominee much earlier in the process and throughout the entire early window." The change follows technical glitches that caused Iowa's 2020 caucuses to melt down. It also gives Biden the chance to repay South Carolina, where he scored a decisive 2020 primary win that revived his presidential campaign after losses in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada.

The approved 2024 schedule, per the AP:

  • Feb. 3: South Carolina
  • Feb. 6: New Hampshire, Nevada
  • Feb. 13: Georgia
  • Feb. 27: Michigan
  • March 5: Super Tuesday
  • To be determined: Iowa
(More Democratic presidential primaries stories.)

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