Georgia and New Hampshire squares in limbo as Democrats craft 2024 primary order

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden’s plan to revise his party’s 2024 presidential primary schedule remained unsettled on Friday, after a Democratic rules committee gave New Hampshire more time to comply with the new rules. to which the leaders fiercely oppose it, but chose not to immediately offer such an extension to another battleground state, Georgia.

The Democratic National Committee’s rules committee has voted to give New Hampshire until Sept. 1 to continue working on its plans for the 2024 Democratic primary. But that’s unlikely to quell an ongoing feud between the National Party and state Democrats.

The same panel did not give Georgia more time, nor did it set a date for next year’s primary. Although the party may still offer Georgia an extension later this year, the state’s place on the Democrats’ 2024 primary calendar is in limbo, at least for now.

At issue is Biden’s plan to strip the Iowa caucus of its traditional post leading to the primary vote and replace it with South Carolina, which would vote Feb. 3, 2024. New Hampshire has long held the first primary in the country after the Iowa caucus. But under the new schedule, he would vote next, along with Nevada, on Feb. 6 — a change New Hampshire officials have decried.

As he seeks re-election, Biden faces two little-known main challengers, self-help author Marianne Williamson and anti-vaccine activist Robert Kennedy Jr. Both campaigned in New Hampshire and could win the support of Democratic voters there who are angry with Biden for pushing the new timeline.

Rules committee co-chair Minyon Moore addressed friction over New Hampshire’s place in the 2024 primary order on Friday, saying, “There’s a space between us and the people of the state on this. .”

“But, as we’ve always said, the president wanted New Hampshire to be on the list of early states,” Moore added. “And this committee has long agreed that this is a critical condition and should be part of the mix.”

Under the new Democratic calendar, Georgia was to vote fourth, with its primary on Feb. 13, followed by Michigan’s two weeks later. Much of the rest of the country would subsequently vote on Super Tuesday next March.

Georgia Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger sets the date for his state’s primary and has indicated he would be willing to move it to conform to the new Democratic order, but only if the Republican National Committee pushes for change its primary at the same time.

But it didn’t happen. Republicans instead plan to start their 2024 primary with Iowa, followed by New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.

Moore said Friday that while Georgia can’t secure its spot in the Top 5 for 2024, it may be in a better position to move forward when Democrats revisit their primary roster ahead of the 2028 presidential election.

“The Republicans wouldn’t budge. It doesn’t seem logical to extend the waiver at this point,” Moore said of giving Georgia more time. But she added that “a foundation has been laid” for 2028.

The Democrats’ primary shuffle comes after the party’s 2020 caucus in Iowa was marred by technical issues. Biden says the proposed new timeline better reflects his party’s deeply diverse voter base, which relies heavily on African-American voters. The president also sought to reward South Carolina, after a decisive victory there, revived his 2020 presidential campaign after early primary losses in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada.

Although New Hampshire now officially has more time, its main date could still be a headache for national Democrats.

New Hampshire state law requires it to hold the nation’s first primary — a rule Iowa was only able to circumvent because it held a caucus. Now New Hampshire’s top Democrats are threatening to simply skip other states and stage the nation’s first primary again in 2024, regardless of the DNC’s new timeline.

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