Iowa GOP Settles on King Day

State Republican leaders pick Jan. 15 for presidential caucuses
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 8, 2023 5:40 PM CDT
Iowa GOP Settles on King Day
Lawrence Lee, left, of Peosta, Iowa, and David Keck, of Dubuque, Iowa, tally votes during the Republican caucus on Feb. 3, 2020, at the Peosta Community Centre.   (Jessica Reilly/Telegraph Herald via AP)

Democrats have moved on, but Republicans in Iowa picked a date for their 2024 presidential caucuses on Saturday, deciding to meet earlier than they have the past couple of cycles. The state's GOP central committee voted to hold the caucuses on Jan. 15, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Politico reports. Iowa's party Chairman Jeff Kaufmann said the party is "committed to maintaining Iowa's cherished first-in-the-nation caucuses." Next on the political calendar will be New Hampshire's primary, which isn't scheduled yet but is penciled in for later in January.

Kaufmann said Jan. 15 was the best choice to fit in with other early states' plans, adding that the party was "certainly very pleased" that the federal holiday means more people could be available to attend a session. "We see this as honoring the legacy of Martin Luther King, in terms of having a caucus here," he said, per the Des Moines Register. The two parties have held caucuses in Iowa on the same night for decades, but national Democrats have decided to have their first 2024 contest in South Carolina. Still, Iowa Democrats said they're considering meeting the same night as Republicans.

Much of calendar is unsettled, and officials in various states are unhappy with various possibilities. Democrats picked Feb. 3 for their South Carolina primary, which led Iowa Republicans to pick a January date, per CNN. Democratic leaders have been unhappy with aspects of the Iowa caucuses and want to shift to more diverse states. On Saturday, party Chair Rita Hart said Democrats are "committed to moving forward with the most inclusive caucus process in Iowa's history." (More Iowa caucuses stories.)

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