Amidst a very busy Wednesday, President Joe Biden called for overhauling the Democratic Presidential primary schedule and ending caucuses with the goal of involving voters more representative of America’s diversity.
In a letter to the Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee, President Biden says the early caucus in very white Iowa has shut voters of color out of the nominating process:
Too often over the past fifty years, candidates have dropped out or had their candidacies marginalized by the press and pundits because of poor performances in small states early in the process before voters of color cast a vote. As I said then, 99.9% of Black voters had not had the chance to vote at that point, and 99.8% of Latino voters had not had the opportunity. That is unacceptable in 2024 and it must change [President Joe Biden, letter to DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee, posted to Democrats.org, 2022.12.01].
President Biden also condemned caucuses for excluding working people. Both parties switched from caucuses to primaries in several states in 2020; Biden says the Democrats should eliminate caucuses completely:
Our party should no longer allow caucuses as part of our nominating process. We are a party dedicated to ensuring participation by all voters and for removing barriers to political participation. Caucuses – requiring voters to choose in public, to spend significant amounts of time to caucus, disadvantaging hourly workers and anyone who does not have the flexibility to go to a set location at a set time – are inherently anti-participatory. It should be our party’s goal to rid the nominating process of restrictive, anti-worker caucuses [President Biden, 2022.12.01].
President Biden would keep New Hampshire in the February mix but boot Iowa, which kinda asked for this kick in the teeth by botching its 2020 caucus. Biden doesn’t lay out a roster of states in his letter, but he’s telling DNC members that he wants South Carolina to go first, followed by New Hampshire and Nevada a week later, then Georgia and Michigan, which is in a strong fight with Minnesota for winning an early spot.