Democrats are eying Michigan or Minnesota to replace the Iowa caucuses to kick off the 2024 presidential primary election. Republicans in those states must agree before the states reschedule the elections, but doing that could result in severe sanctions from the Republican National Committee.
According to RNC rules, Republican leaders in states that move primaries could find their states losing most of their delegates that would be sent to the 2024 nominating convention, reports The Washington Post.
The rules, which the RNC passed unanimously in the spring, would mean that the delegations from Michigan and Minnesota, each of which has at least 30 delegates, would have just nine delegates and RNC members at the conventions.
Overall, 16 states and Puerto Rico are vying to become one of the first sites to hold presidential primaries in 2024 as the meetings of the Democratic Rules and Bylaws Committee open Wednesday. Illinois is also applying to replace Iowa as the first state, but it is not a swing state, and the media market is expensive in Chicago, whose metropolitan area would dominate the state's voting.
Democrats in Illinois, however, are arguing that their state is a good place for testing Democrats' ability to win in large swing states that have big cities, like in Georgia, Florida, and Arizona, according to state party deputy director Jake Lewis.
The Rules and Bylaws Committee may also add a fifth state to the early primary calendar, with Democrats from Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, Maryland, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and Washington state to present their cases at the conference.
Three other early traditionally early states (New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina) are likely to remain in their places to hold early primaries, sources familiar with the discussions told The Post.
In Michigan, Ron Weiser, who chairs the state's GOP, said in a statement that he is confident his state will remain a strong voice in selecting the next Republican nominee, but for now, he's "laser-focused on ensuring our party has the resources at its disposal to elect Republicans up and down the ballot. There's too much at stake to be focused on anything but the upcoming midterm elections."
Iowa Republican Chairman Jeff Kaufmann said he hasn't heard any discussion about providing relief to states that attempt violations of the GOP's approved calendar, which has already set his state as the first caucus, and said he's stunned that Democrats in Minnesota and Michigan assume his party will help them change the schedule.
"I find it hard to believe that they would put something in a proposal that appears to be unreachable," he said. "The Democratic Party in those two states are hoping the [Rules and Bylaws] committee doesn't read their application very closely."
Both states have launched campaigns to attract national Democrats on making their states first. Michigan has released a video, with former Detroit Pistons star Isiah Thomas doing the voice-over. Michigan is also planning to send Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan to make the state's pitch.
The states will argue that their geographic, economic, and racial diversity makes them ideal for holding first primaries.
In an interview Tuesday, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, a Democrat, said he hopes Republicans will support the change of date, but acknowledged that "it is always dangerous to predict how the current Republican Party will act compared to the former Republican Party."
"We will pass that bridge when we get there," Walz said.
Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II, also a Democrat, expressed similar optimism, saying that the lack of public statements from Republicans who would oppose moving the date is a good sign for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.