Early presidential primary states including New Hampshire are taking issue with the proposed 2024 Democratic presidential primary schedule that would see it removed from its top spot in favor of a "more diverse" state like South Carolina.
"I strongly oppose the president's deeply misguided proposal; but make no mistake, New Hampshire's law is clear and our primary will continue to be first in the nation," Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., said in a statement to ABC News. "Because of our state's small size, candidates from all walks of life — not just the ones with the largest war chests — are able to compete and engage in the unique retail politics that are a hallmark of our state. I look forward to welcoming Democratic and Republican candidates to New Hampshire — just like we always have."
The Rules and Bylaws Committee of the Democratic National Committee voted to approve the proposal for the 2024 election cycle that bumps longtime Iowa, with its caucuses, and New Hampshire down the list in favor of South Carolina and possibly Nevada.
"As former chairs of the Democratic National Committee, we commend President [Joe] Biden and the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee for their incredibly thorough and diligent work to develop a presidential nominating calendar that will strengthen our party and reflect our values," a group of former DNC chairs said in a statement. "This new calendar does what is long overdue: It expands the number of voices in the early window process and elevates communities that traditionally had to wait. It also puts our party in a better position to compete in the general election so we can elect Democrats up and down the ticket in every race from city council to president of the United States. We urge the full DNC to ratify this decision early next year."
For his part, Biden issued a letter to the Rules Committee supporting the change in schedule.
"Just like my administration, the Democratic Party has worked hard to reflect the diversity of America — but our nominating process does not," Biden wrote. "For 50 years, the first month of our presidential nominating process has been a treasured part of our democratic process; but it is time to update the process for the 21st century. I am committed to working with the DNC to get this done."
Not all Democrats are on board with the proposed changes, including Faiz Shakir. The 2020 presidential campaign manager for Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., wrote an opinion piece published by the The New York Times.
"Our party's lineup of states that nominate our presidential candidates every four years needs to change badly. The 2020 caucuses in Iowa — the state that has been first on the calendar for decades — were a disaster," Shakir wrote. "But even more so, the sequencing of states must be transformed if we're going to achieve the most important goal of the nominating process: to pick the strongest possible candidate to put before a national audience and to do so strategically in states that we must win in the general election."
One of the Rules Committee members representing South Carolina, Carol Fowler, dismissed the criticism.
"You know, this is politics. And if you have struggled to receive any African American votes, you might be reluctant to see African American voters given such a prominent place," Fowler told ABC News. "Sen. Sanders did not do well in South Carolina [in the 2020 primary] with African American voters, and so probably it would suit them to not try to try to appeal to those voters because they just were unable to appeal to them before."
Despite the committee's approval, the implementation relies on the individual states and is not likely to pass muster in the end, committee member Scott Brennan, who represents Iowa told the news outlet.
"This calendar won't stand," he said. "What we proposed won't stand. New Hampshire has already indicated that this calendar is unacceptable to them and that they cannot comply with the requirements that were set out in the waiver. And they won't comply with those requirements, so that's already off the rails."
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