Democrats delay early state order decision for 2024 campaign

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) Winter Meeting in Washington, U.S., March 10, 2022.

The Democratic National Committee delayed a decision Saturday on a new order for early state voting in the 2024 presidential elections until after this fall’s midterm elections.

The order of early states had been scheduled for final debate and a decision next weekend, but disagreements inside the committee and continued uncertainties, including a question of Republican cooperation in some states, led the committee to push the date.

“Following the midterm elections, we will reconvene to update our evaluation of the applicant pool and work towards a final decision to present to the full DNC for a vote, which DNC leadership has assured us they will make happen as soon after the midterm elections as is possible,” the chairs of the Rules and Bylaws Committee, Minyon Moore and Jim Roosevelt Jr., wrote to members Saturday in a memo obtained by The Washington Post.

Some Democrats were concerned that a decision before the midterms could have an adverse affect on Democratic campaigns this year. Both Nevada and New Hampshire, which are making plays to be the first 2024 primary contest, have contested Senate contests at stake in November. Michigan and Minnesota, which have contested gubernatorial contests, were hoping to move up their primaries.

“Several states were saying it could cost them Senate seats,” said a Democrat involved in the process who, like others interviewed for this story, spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal discussions. “The elections are making it too complicated.”

Complicating matters further is the continued resistance of Republicans in Minnesota and Michigan to publicly commit to moving those states’ primaries earlier, which Democrats would likely need to allow those states to join the first weeks of voting. The DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee also must decide whether to allow Iowa to remain in the early voting order, and what the consequences should be for candidates and states that disobey the party-dictated calendar.

A party official familiar with the process said that Democratic leadership wanted to make sure that the party was not distracted from the midterm elections. There are 17 state and territory applicants still in the running for four or five spots in the early nominating calendar. Officials close to the process expect at least three of the traditional early voting states – Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina – to retain spots, though the order is unclear.

The party official said DNC leadership has assured party members that a vote on the new calendar will occur as soon as possible after the midterm elections.

The DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee is still expected to meet late next week to pass the delegate selection rules for the 2024 campaign and the call to the convention, which the full party is expected to ratify in the coming weeks.