Biden faces backlash from Democrats in Iowa, New Hampshire against making South Carolina first primary state
President Biden is facing backlash from some of his Democratic colleagues after proposing a reshuffle of the Democratic Party's primary election calendar.
The president’s proposal would see South Carolina lead off the 2024 Democratic presidential nominating calendar with a primary on Feb. 6, followed by New Hampshire and Nevada jointly holding their contests one week later, on Feb. 13. Georgia would vote on Feb. 20, followed by Michigan on Feb. 27.
Biden’s plan is a dramatic shift from the current calendar, which has seen Iowa and New Hampshire for half a century hold the first two lead-off contests in both the Democratic and Republican Party schedules.
'In New Hampshire, it doesn’t matter how much money you have, where you come from or who knows your name — in our primary, everyone has a fair shot,' said Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire.
She added, 'It’s tremendously disappointing that the President failed to understand the unique role that New Hampshire plays in our candidate selection process as the first primary state,' said Shaheen.
According to party rules, only states with special permission — known as 'carve-out states' — can hold nominating contests before the DNC's primary window begins in March of a presidential election year.
Iowa Democratic Party chair Ross Wilburn — fighting to save his state’s lead-off position — has argued that there are issues more consequential than the primary calendar at play.
'Small rural states like Iowa must have a voice in our Presidential nominating process. Democrats cannot forget about entire groups of voters in the heart of the Midwest without doing significant damage to the party for a generation,' Wilburn charged in statement.
Additionally, he warned that 'our state law requires us to hold a caucus before the last Tuesday in February, and before any other contest.'
Republicans in Iowa also lobbed criticisms for the proposed change, which would disrupt the parties' parallel state primaries at the beginning of the calendar.
'This is an unserious alternative from an unserious president. The DNC and Joe Biden have just kicked off utter chaos. This is just a recommendation, and the fight is not over,' said Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Jeff Kaufmann.
Fox News' Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.
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