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DNC Votes To Make South Carolina Leadoff State In Primary Elections

New Hampshire Democrats oppose the move and vow to make sure it is unsuccessful

The Democratic Party, on Feb. 4, voted to approve making South Carolina the state to hold the Party’s first presidential primary in 2024, ending the nearly 50-year tradition of Iowa and New Hampshire kicking off the primary season.

Changing the primary schedule came at the behest of President Joe Biden, who sent a letter to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in December requesting the change.

“The president’s rationalization for putting South Carolina first is diversity,” Norman Solomon, co-founder of RootsAction.org and founding director of the Institute for Public Accuracy, wrote in an op-ed for Salon. “Yet the neighboring purple state of Georgia, which has an activist Democratic base, is more racially diverse — and is also a crucial swing state, where the party’s general-election prospects would likely benefit from hosting the first-in-the-nation presidential primary.”

Solomon said that changing the leadoff state in the primary race is meant to reduce the chances of Biden facing a primary challenge. “That means Democratic energy and funds will be squandered in that deep-red state, which is about as likely to give its electoral votes to the 2024 Democratic ticket as Ron DeSantis is to donate all the money in his campaign treasury to the Movement for Black Lives,” he wrote.

Under the new plan, the South Carolina primary would be followed by Nevada and New Hampshire on Feb. 6, then Georgia and Michigan.

According to the Associated Press (AP), Biden is “seeking to reward South Carolina, where nearly 27 percent of the population is Black, after a decisive win there revived his 2020 presidential campaign following losses it suffered in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada.”

The primary election reshuffle angered New Hampshire Democrats, who immediately blasted the plan, accusing Biden and the DNC of orchestrating the place out of “political convenience” and vowing the move will “not be successful in the end,” Newsweek reported.

“Our First in the Nation Primary makes our entire country & democracy stronger. Regardless of the DNC vote, New Hampshire will go first,” Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) wrote on Twitter the day the new plan was announced. “The DNC’s primary proposal asks us to violate our state law & puts Democrats’ future success in our state at risk—it is deeply misguided.”

Hassan was joined by several of her Democratic collegues — Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, Rep. Annie Kuster, and Rep. Chris Pappas — in issuing a formal statement denouncing the change.

“The vote by the Democratic National Committee in Philadelphia is not the last word on the 2024 Presidential primary calendar,” they wrote. “No party committee gave New Hampshire the first-in-the-nation primary. Granite Staters created this process to put the power in voters’ hands and give every candidate a fair shot, no matter their cash-on-hand or status within the party.”

“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 Democratic officials added. “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.”

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