- Iowa may lose its spot as the first-in-the-nation voting contest of the Democratic presidential primary.
- A new DNC plan passed Wednesday would require states to apply to hold early voting contests.
- The DNC’s nominating calendar is expected to be finalized in July.
Iowa has long been the first state in the US that presidential candidates vie for their party’s nomination, but that could soon change for Democrats after members of the Democratic National Committee approved a new plan on Wednesday.
The plan, approved by the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee, involves lifting early voting contest waivers in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina and will require states that wish to hold early contests to apply, the Des Moines Register reported.
The resolution said states would be selected on criteria that includes diversity, competitiveness in the general election, and the feasibility of holding an early primary. Up to five states will be selected, and states that previously held early primaries will not be given preference.
Mo Elleithee, a member of the Rules and Bylaws Committee, said Wednesday that “caucus states” and “states that don’t offer some form of diversity are going to be a hard sell for me,” The Register reported.
“Iowa will absolutely be applying to be in the early window and we will look forward to enthusiastically making our case,” Iowa Democratic Party Chair Ross Wilburn said in a statement provided to Insider.
Wilburn added: “The Iowa Democratic Party will also be engaging with numerous stakeholders all over Iowa to explore substantive changes to the caucuses that would make them more straightforward, transparent and accessible, addressing concerns that some members of the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee have expressed .”
States have to apply for early voting contests by June 3. The DNC is expected to finalize the nominating calendar in July.
A similar draft proposal was being considered by the DNC last month, Insider’s Grace Panetta and Kayla Epstein reported.
Iowa has been the first of the presidential primaries with its caucus system since 1972, giving the state outsized importance in selecting the nominees. Technical issues in the 2020 Iowa caucus drew renewed balloting to the unusual nominating system and helped ignite recent calls to shake up the nominating calendar.
The DNC did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.