State Democrats have stated that the battle is not yet over, despite the fact that several national politicians have stated that the decision made by the Democratic National Committee to remove Iowa from its status as first-in-the-nation is final.
Soon after the Rules and Bylaws committee of the Democratic National Committee decided to put South Carolina first in the presidential nomination cycle beginning in 2024, Iowa Democratic Chair Ross Wilburn sent out a letter stating that the state party will follow state law. In his letter, Wilburn stated that Iowa Democrats will adhere to state law. The state of Iowa contains statutes that stipulate that political parties must organize caucuses, and that these caucuses must take place before any other states’ nomination contests can take place.
“When we submit our delegate selection plan to the Rules and Bylaws Committee early next year, we will adhere to the legal requirements of the State of Iowa, and address compliance with DNC rules in subsequent meetings and hearings,” Wilburn said. “When we submit our delegate selection plan to the Rules and Bylaws Committee early next year, we will adhere to the legal requirements of the State of Iowa.”
South Carolina, Nevada, New Hampshire, Georgia, and Michigan have been granted waivers by the Rules and Bylaws Committee of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), with the support of President Joe Biden. These waivers will allow these states to hold their primary elections before the first Tuesday of March, which is the traditional beginning of the period for presidential nominating contests. Two of the committee’s members, Scott Brennan of Iowa and Joanne Dowdell of New Hampshire, were the only ones to cast a vote against the proposed new calendar.
Both the Democratic Party leaders in Iowa and New Hampshire have made the commitment to hold their presidential nomination contests first in accordance with the laws of their respective states. In light of the fact that the committee members were aware that Iowa and New Hampshire would respond in this manner, they decided to impose new sanctions on any state that holds its contests outside of DNC approval. These new sanctions will result in an automatic reduction of half of the state’s delegates at the Democratic National Convention.
In addition, presidential candidates would be subject to sanctions if they participated in the elections held in such states. Those candidates who choose to run their campaigns in states where the new DNC rules have been violated, as well as those who choose to run television advertisements or place their names on the ballot in those states, will be ineligible to receive any delegates from those states, and they may also be prevented from taking part in debates.
However, despite these fines, the Democratic parties in Iowa and New Hampshire have both stated that they intend to continue holding their contests first. According to Dave Nagle, a former congressman from Iowa, the decision made by the DNC is simply the first step in what will be a very long process in Iowa’s fight to remain in first place.
“We got a long way to go,” Nagle added. Do not assume that this part of the story is over. We haven’t even bothered to crack the cover of the book yet.”
Therefore, what are the next steps?
Despite the fact that the Rules and Bylaws Committee has given its blessing to the new calendar, the whole Democratic National Committee will have to ratify it in 2023. The approval of the committee is contingent on five states demonstrating to the national party that they will move their primaries to dates that have been approved by the DNC in 2024. These dates are as follows: South Carolina on February 3, Nevada and New Hampshire on February 6, Georgia on February 13, and Michigan on February 27.
This year, the whole DNC will not authorize a waiver for a state that has been allowed for early voting if that state does not meet the conditions established by the DNC panel. Instead, the state will be required to hold its race during the regular primary election window.
The decision made by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to establish specific dates for primaries is an attempt to put an end to the jockeying for position that occurs between early states. As a result of Florida’s and Michigan’s decisions to alter the date of their presidential nominating primaries in 2008, a number of other states also moved the dates of their primaries in an attempt to improve their standing. This conflict continued until October 2007, which was fewer than three months prior to the Iowa caucuses on January 3. Because both states had moved their primaries up without proper authorization, the Democratic National Committee did not seat half of the delegations from either state at the convention in 2008.
According to Nagle, who served as the state Democratic Party chairman in 1982, Iowa was involved in a dispute similar to this one in 1984. At that time, New Hampshire and Iowa each moved their 1984 contests a week ahead of Vermont. Vermont had decided to hold a nonbinding straw poll on the same day as New Hampshire’s primary election. A later ruling by a federal judge established that the states of New Hampshire and Iowa were within their legal rights to move the date of their respective elections and have the results of those elections recognized by the Democratic National Committee.
Because of that court case and the statute in Iowa that states the state’s parties are required to hold their caucuses first, the Democratic National Committee may be forced to challenge Iowa in court in order to impose its new regulations. After stating that Iowa’s caucuses are constitutionally protected under the right to assembly, Nagle went on to say that in general, intraparty disputes are not resolved in court until “the remedies of resolution have been exercised and exhausted within the organization.” This means that in order for a dispute to be resolved in court, it must first be determined whether or not “the remedies of resolution have
According to him, this indicates that any lawsuit the DNC might file against Iowa for holding its caucuses before other contests would not be successful until all other avenues to resolve any conflicts within the party structure have been exhausted. As a result, the DNC might choose not to file such a lawsuit.
“Even while the National Committee has the ability to say, ‘Oh, we’re going to do this, and we’re going to do this, and we’re going to do this to you,'” When asked about this, Nagle responded, “Fine, but they can’t stop us from hosting the caucus and they can’t stop New Hampshire from holding the primary.”
When it comes to the state level, the calendar needs to be approved by the Iowa Democrats’ State Central Committee. Some Democrats in Iowa, such as C.J. Petersen, the chair of the party’s Stonewall Caucus, are in favor of Iowa giving up its position as the first state in the nation to hold elections so that another state can have the opportunity to start the election cycle.
Other modifications, unrelated to the state’s location on the nomination calendar, are in the works to be implemented for the caucuses in Iowa.
A move toward absentee ballots rather than in-person caucuses in upcoming election cycles was one of the recommendations made by Democratic party leaders in Iowa earlier this year when they made their pitch to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in favor of the state remaining first in the presidential nominating process. According to Norm Sterzenbach, who worked as the executive director of the Iowa Democratic Party during the caucuses in 2008, the new process will simplify the Iowa caucuses by doing away with complicated procedures that are carried out on the night of the caucuses. These procedures include re-alignment and viability thresholds.
The Democrats would vote using a presidential preference card under the new caucus system that is being suggested, and they would only select their preferred candidate. These cards could be requested through the mail and returned either in person or through the mail prior to the night of the caucus. According to Sterzenbach, the alterations are being made in order to address the issues that national Democrats have raised regarding the accessibility of the caucuses.
“My guess is that we’ll end up going first, and the procedure will be more simpler and more accessible,” he added. “My guess is that we’ll end up going first.”