Iowa and New Hampshire lawmakers are lamenting the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) move to adjust its primary schedule and remove both states as the first to cast their votes, calling the decision “disappointing.”
DNC members approved the schedule that will have South Carolina become the first state to vote in Democratic primaries by voice vote. Under the new schedule, Nevada and New Hampshire will go next on the same day, followed by Georgia and then Michigan. The vote happened at the DNC’s winter meeting in Philadelphia.
President Biden and party leaders have backed the change as expanding the role that diverse populations play in choosing the eventual nominee instead of two states with overwhelmingly white populations.
But political leaders from Iowa and New Hampshire expressed their opposition to the change after the plan was announced and reiterated it on Saturday after the vote went through.
The New Hampshire Democratic Party’s congressional delegation said in a statement that the vote will not be the “last word” on the 2024 presidential primary calendar. It said New Hampshire adds value to the nominating process and vowed that the plan from Biden and the DNC will not succeed.
New Hampshire state law requires the state to have the first primary in the country.
“We will continue to work together as a delegation and with state leaders to protect the primary and make sure New Hampshire’s law is followed,” the statement reads. “No matter what party powerbrokers or those in Washington think, New Hampshire will once again host our first-in-the-nation contest as we have done for more than a century.”
Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) also vowed that her state would keep its status as the first primary in the country, tweeting that the plan puts the party’s success in the state at risk and is “deeply misguided.”
Iowa Republicans also reacted on Twitter, with Rep. Zach Nunn saying that it was “Disappointing that the Iowa Democratic Party didn’t stand up for our state in leading the nation.”
Sen. Chuck Grassley tweeted that the Iowa caucuses have been a “decades long tradition” of bipartisanship and accused Democrats of not caring about rural Americans. Sen. Joni Ernst said she will “always fight” to keep Iowa as the first state to vote in the GOP nominating process.
The DNC has given Georgia and New Hampshire until June to pass a law to comply with its request for the update primary schedule, but changing the schedule might be difficult with Republicans serving as governor and controlling the legislature in those states.
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This story was originally published February 4, 2023 4:13 PM.