The Democratic National Committee is reportedly considering dethroning Iowa from its perch as holding the first in the nation caucus in a move supporters say will better reflect national diversity away from the primarily white and rural state.
Far-left activists have long encouraged removing the spotlight from the midwestern state, and the Democratic proposal points to “ethnic, geographic and union representation in deciding which states would get the honor of having an early caucus. The competitiveness of the state’s general election is also a factor in the party’s decision.
Iowa is 90 percent white for the bean-counters and has a low 6.5% union membership rate. Former President Trump carried it by eight percentage points over President Biden in the 2020 race and 10 points in 2016 against Hillary Clinton.
DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee member Mo Elleithee said in January that three of the four current early tabulating states meet at least two of the Democrat’s “standards,” and in a thinly veiled swipe at Iowa then said, “One does not satisfy any of them, at least in recent years.”
One of the Dems’ core considerations is the “ability to run a fair, transparent and inclusive primary.” Iowa state law requires a caucus, not a primary, so a tradition that started in January 1972 seems likely to end in 2024 for state Democrats.
That tradition has meant a year-long spotlight on Iowans, with parties and candidates canvassing towns back and forth trying to woo supporters and get a jump start on the nomination.
Part of the Democratic plan requires states to apply to have their contests before the rest of the country. New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina primaries have followed Iowa’s kickoff caucus for years. The proposal adds a fifth state to early nominations but does not provide preferential treatment.
Other factors in the Democrats possibly changing the nomination process are the election night problems that plagued the 2020 Iowa caucus. A smartphone app designed to streamline the process did precisely the opposite and other technical and logistical obstacles delayed the announcement of a winner.
It led to bickering between state and national Democrats, blaming the other for the debacle. The Iowa Democratic Party commissioned an audit that accused the Democratic National Committee of injecting itself in the process and creating havoc, first with the failed smartphone app and then with demands for last-minute technology that also failed.
Republicans, by the way, control the Iowa government and have not shown any inclination towards following the apparent path of the Democrats.