What to Know in Washington: Biden Signals Move From Iowa Caucus
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President Joe Biden offered the strongest indication yet that Democrats will ditch Iowa as the kick-off to their presidential nominating process, saying the party should favor more diverse states and abandon time-intensive caucuses that he says freeze out working class voters.
Biden, in a letter to the Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws panel released on Thursday night, did not name individual states, but said: “We must ensure that voters of color have a voice in choosing our nominee much earlier in the process and throughout the entire early window.”
For more than a generation, the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primaries have been the first forums where voters can begin selecting both the Republican and Democratic nominee, giving the two small, predominately White states enormous political influence.
The president’s letter spells out that he wants a process that would not only include a more diverse voting public but abandon caucuses altogether.
“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,” Biden said.
“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.”
The DNC committee this weekend will consider a proposal that would place South Carolina first in the nominating process, followed by New Hampshire and then Nevada. Georgia and Michigan would follow, according to a person familiar with the proposal, who asked for anonymity to discuss private matters.
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With assistance from Roxana Tiron
To contact the reporters on this story: Brandon Lee in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org; Michaela Ross in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Katrice Eborn at firstname.lastname@example.org
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