National Democrats meet this week to decide fate of Iowa caucuses | News, Sports, Jobs


Photo by Linh Ta/Iowa Capital Dispatch Iowa Democrats used satellite gatherings like this one at the Muslim Community Organization in Des Moines in 2020 to try to make gatherings more diverse and accessible.

Iowa Democrats are keeping a low profile on their plans, which emanate from this week’s Democratic National Committee rules meeting, at which some predict the national leadership will oust the Iowa caucuses from their number one position in the nation.

Iowa Democrats could proceed with presidential elections, as they have in the past, with or without the blessing of the national party. But state party leaders are not speculating about what they might do if the DNC seeks to end Iowa’s reign as the nation’s first presidential nominee.

The DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee is scheduled to recommend a new presidential nomination calendar during its December 1-3 meeting in Washington DC. The panel decided earlier this year to strip Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina of their traditional leadership positions and require them to compete with other states for coveted spots.

The committee heard presentations from 16 states and Puerto Rico in June about why they should hold early contests that could set the stage for the nomination cycle. The DNC has announced that it will evaluate states based on their diversity, competitiveness, and feasibility – criteria that pose challenges to Iowa.

Some of the reasons the DNC decided on potential roster changes stem specifically from issues with Iowa. Some national Democrat leaders say the caucus process, in which Iowans physically gather and move around a room to express their presidential preference, limits participation, particularly among marginalized groups. Iowa’s Democratic factions have also come under closer scrutiny due to delays in reporting in 2020.

In response to this criticism, the Iowa Democrats introduced a new caucus system. Iowans would weigh themselves with a presidential preference card to be returned in the mail or in person on caucus night.

“We proposed these bold changes to streamline the caucus process and maintain our place among the early states on the nomination calendar,” said Ross Wilburn, chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party. “As such, we believe the proposal we have submitted to the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee demonstrates our determination to make the Iowa caucuses one of the most accessible competitions in the country and will enable us to do so.” to expand our party.”

Wilburn did not comment on next steps to implement the new system outlined in the proposal, saying the state party is focused on the upcoming meeting.

Iowa and other states have less time than originally anticipated to make changes to their nomination processes. The final early state service roster was due to be announced in August, but the DNC decided to delay its decision until after the November interim periods.

Scott Brennan, a member of the rules body and former leader of the Democrats, said this meeting is not the final step in approving a new calendar. The entire DNC must meet to approve and ratify the Rules and Bylaws Committee election, which could be after the holiday.

“The delay will be challenging for both us and Democrats across the country,” Wilburn said. “But we strive to make our caucus process inclusive and accessible.”

As of Tuesday, Wilburn said he still hadn’t received an agenda for the meeting scheduled for later this week. National Democrats are also questioning the lack of comment from President Joe Biden’s administration, Politico reports.

The delays notwithstanding, many Democrats are predicting that Iowa will not walk away from the upcoming meetings with an early state waiver. Minnesota and Michigan, where Democrats made important gains at this year’s Midterms, are hoping to replace Iowa as the Midwest’s representative in the early state process.

The interim results increased the challenges for Iowa

The Iowa Democrats’ hard attack was made even more difficult by the halftime results. One of her central arguments during presentations before the DNC earlier this year was that Iowa remains a competitive state for Democrats, even though Donald Trump won the state in both 2016 and 2020, and posted 2018 gains in the US House.

But in this year’s election, which saw Democrats perform better than expected in many parts of the country, Republicans kept their state and federal incumbents in office in Iowa and installed Democrats like US Rep. Cindy Axne and Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller , and Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald from .

Brennan told Iowa Press reporters that the election was “clearly no friend” of the DNC, but that the same arguments previously made about Iowa’s status as a purple state remain valid. Brennan said Democrats should think carefully before putting states like Michigan or Minnesota first instead of Iowa, because those states’ nominating choices may not provide insights into working-class and rural Midwestern voters who support the Iowa caucuses do.

“We cannot let the Midwest become a Republican monolith,” Brennan said. “If they all turn red, we can’t elect Democratic presidents because the electoral college math isn’t working.”

Iowa has defied DNC before

While Iowa Democratic leaders are pushing for the DNC to keep the caucuses first, Iowa may still have options to hold its position if the committee’s decision this week doesn’t go in favor of the state. In 1982, Democratic leaders turned down Iowa’s bid to win first place in the upcoming 1984 election, but the state held its contest earlier than allowed anyway. Dave Nagle, a former Iowa congressman, said the lawsuit from that election showed that the Iowa Democratic Party has the final say on when the caucuses are held.

However, the state’s current party leadership has not commented on a possible challenge to the DNC’s decision. Ahead of the December meetings, Wilburn stressed the need to keep voters from the rural Midwest represented in the states’ early nomination process and said DNC leadership is promising a “fair process” in creating the new roster.

“We’re still in the mix and we’ll see what happens this week,” Wilburn said.

National Democrats meet this week to decide the fate of the Iowa caucuses



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