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Biden Wants More Diverse Voters, No Caucuses in Democratic Presidential Nomination Process

Goodbye, early Iowa caucus!

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.

20 Comments

  1. grudznick 2022-12-02 07:33

    This seems like something our good friend Mike, who is from Iowa, could head up.

  2. larry kurtz 2022-12-02 07:38

    Joe Biden is an interim or caretaker POTUS who should serve a single term.

    President Biden struggles for the approval of a majority of America’s voters hovering near 41 percent while Democratic senators are overwhelmingly favored in their own states and Republicans surf the bottom. Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Jon Tester (D-MT) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) are doing great jobs according to pollsters at FiveThirtyEight.

    And although the best choice in 2020 for President of the United States was Al Franken Senator Klobuchar had this columnist’s early primary endorsement to be our party’s nominee. But after it was revealed she had wrongfully prosecuted Myon Burrell when she was Hennepin County’s top prosecutor her aspirations to hold higher office evaporated. In 2020 Minnesota commuted Burrell’s sentence.

    In 2012 Heinrich defeated Republican Heather Wilson, his predecessor in Congress and today thanks to efforts led by Sen. Heinrich bison have become America’s National Mammal, Amtrak’s Southwest Chief is still chugging, the Gila River is no longer in danger of being diverted, Chaco Culture National Historical Park enjoys greater protection from the extractive industry and he is leading the reform of the Mining Law of 1872. He is a smart, telegenic, pragmatic statesman in a state where a Democrat can easily keep the seat.

    Vice President Kamala Harris has yet to prove to this voter that she has the fire in the belly and although I support nearly everything Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders work for they’re simply unelectable.

    So, it is the view of this interested party that Senator Heinrich should enter the primary for the nomination as our party’s choice for President of the United States if President Biden chooses not to run.

  3. John 2022-12-02 08:03

    Corporate democrats MUST get a handle on their dysfunctional party. Do the people a favor – begin the primaries after Memorial Day and run them for 10 weeks. Period.
    There are 50 states. Generally hold 5 primary votes nationwide at 2 week intervals. Rotate the starters every 4 years. Subdivide the 10 states in a primary cycle to diversify urban/rural/regional (north/south/west).

    The Iowa caucus was a good idea in the 1800s. Iowa should have killed the caucus when it killed its former ‘best in the nation’ primary education system.

  4. Mark Anderson 2022-12-02 10:54

    The Democratic primary should begin in red states. Have all the candidates blanket each state. It’s a necessary step.

  5. larry kurtz 2022-12-02 12:09

    That it costs a billion+ to get elected POTUS is obscene. If I believed a Convention of States wouldn’t be hijacked by fascist oligarchs a new constitution should look more secular and parliamentarian than the prosperity gospel Corporatocracy we live under today.

  6. John 2022-12-02 12:48

    Neanderthal Grassley (IA-QAN) belly aches that Biden kicked Iowa in the teeth. Iowan’s bemoan what will become of us losing our ‘first in the nation presidential caucus’.

    Iowa kicked itself in the teeth when it destroyed its former best in the nation primary education system and turned it into an also ran in little more than a generation. Iowa will ‘become’ what it is in reality – another nearly insignificant flyover state with 60 too many counties and bad football teams. Iowa should reflect on the “United Kingdom’ and find an artful manner to fall from grace, stopping grasping and clinging to an irrelevant horse and buggy past.

  7. Edwin Arndt 2022-12-02 13:04

    I would respectfully suggest that democrats refrain from
    using the term flyover state or country. It can only be considered
    a pejorative term. Using words like that do not win friends or influence
    people in a positive way.

  8. All Mammal 2022-12-02 13:34

    Look up in the sky. Our clouds consist almost exclusively of chem trails. Thats flyover.

  9. Edwin Arndt 2022-12-02 17:02

    Mammal, you simply do not convince people to vote your way
    by mocking them. This should be politics 101.
    We don’t even have chem trails where I live.
    I like it.

    Martin Luther King said in a famous speech (paraphrasing now) “people
    will be judged by the content of their character rather than the color
    of their skin”. Now, skin color seems to be at a premium. I hadn’t heard the
    term “voters of color” before. POC, now VOC? Does anyone beside Morgan
    Freeman and a few others understand that we will never get rid of racism
    if we constantly talk about it? Constantly use race and skin color as a reference?

  10. P. Aitch 2022-12-02 17:15

    We will never get rid of racism unless we constantly talk about it. As a liberal activist it’s my mission to afflict the comfortable. Even “Red Ed” is talking about racism. See? Constant exposure works.

  11. P. Aitch 2022-12-02 17:20

    PS… Say it, Edwin. “REPARATIONS FOR BLACK PEOPLE DESCENDED FROM SLAVES!” (It’s on the docket in the California legislature.)

  12. Arlo Blundt 2022-12-02 20:11

    Caucuses are for retired folks and busybodies with time on their hands. It is thought that caucuses give “Party Activists” an active role in choosing candidates and that, it is thought, is a good thing. Not a particularly “populous” thing to do, in my opinion. Political parties are dinosaurs.

  13. All Mammal 2022-12-02 20:37

    I’m not trying to mock anybody (this time), Mr. Arndt. I find it extremely off and odd to see asterisks in the sky nearly every day of the week. They last for days sometimes. How can that be coincidence? Alarming that nobody ever questions this. Flying over my state is fine, by why mark the spot with the x’s and asterisks?
    Just look up.

  14. Jenny 2022-12-02 20:57

    MN would be a good pick. Our elections are run well and we consistently rank number one in having the highest percentage of registered voters that vote. After the 2020 disaster in Iowa in, We would proudly show the nation how a primary election should be run up here in the North land.

  15. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-12-03 09:25

    Edwin, can you provide evidence that “flyover country” is used exclusively by Democrats? The term appears to have originated in the Midwest and isn’t really used by coastal elites:

    A search through Google’s massive archive of scanned books and periodicals finds that many subsequent occurrences of flyover country come from people who, like McGuane, put the phrase in someone else’s mouth. Rarely is it ever used by a New Yorker or Angelino as a pejorative.

    “It’s a stereotype of other people’s stereotypes,” lexicographer Ben Zimmer says. But it’s not as if the stereotypes are entirely imagined. Zimmer says the concept behind flyover country is present in older phrases, like middle America, “which has been used to talk about, geographically, the middle part of the U.S. since 1924, but then also has this idea of not only the geographic middle but the economic and social middle of the country as well, that kind of middle-ness that’s associated with the Midwest.” Another term for the same place, Zimmer notes, is heartland, which is “for people who want to valorize a particular social or political value” [Gabe Bullard, “The Surprising History of the Phrase ‘Flyover Country’,” National Geographic, 2016.03.14].

    Political science needs to be based on facts, not projection.

  16. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-12-03 09:29

    Want real inclusion reflecting the full diversity of America? Let’s have a nationwide one-day open primary with ranked-choice voting on August 1. Every candidate goes on one ballot; every voter, regardless of party, gets to vote and ranks their choices. Top two go to the general election. That’s how you capture what the electorate really wants in a leader.

  17. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-12-03 09:33

    John’s use of the term is meant to reflect reality: what does Iowa offer that warrants priority in picking the President of the United States? For that matter, why should any one state enjoy priority over any other in picking the President?

  18. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-12-03 09:36

    The only reason Republicans may pretend to view rural America as some haven from the chaos of coastal elites is that their desperate clinging to power depends on the preserving disproportionate representation of rural states in the Electoral College and the Senate. Republicans view flyover country as the last bastion of their Whitopian apartheid.

  19. P. Aitch 2022-12-03 13:33

    Where I live there’s a term for people who live where you fine folks live. I’m sure Red Ed will find it offensive and grudznick will embrace it.
    “flatlanders” #grins

  20. Donald Pay 2022-12-04 13:54

    Cory’s idea sounds pretty good. I’d scrap the Electoral College, too. We should elect our President and VP with “one person, one vote.”

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