Monday 10 July 2023

Iowa Republicans Set Date For First-In-The-Nation Caucus As 2024 Race Heats Up

 Iowa Republicans set the date for the state’s first-in-the-nation caucus for January 15 as the race for the GOP 2024 presidential nomination heats up.

The date was chosen by the Iowa Republican’s State Central Committee and will fall on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a federal and state holiday. 

“We remain committed to maintaining Iowa’s cherished first-in-the-nation caucuses and look forward to holding a historic caucus in the coming months and defeating Joe Biden come November 2024,” Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Jeff Kaufmann said in a statement. 

The race for the GOP presidential nomination currently includes former President Donald Trump, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, political commentator Larry Elder, and North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum. 

Most polling has shown Trump leading and DeSantis in second place. Both campaigns have made recent appearances in Iowa, with Trump speaking in Council Bluffs on Friday.

 “No president has ever been close to me for farmers,” the former president said at a rally, adding that he was “the most pro-farmer president in history” 

On Thursday, DeSantis’s wife, Casey, launched the national version of “Mamas for DeSantis” in Iowa alongside Governor Kim Reynolds, who has not made any formal endorsements in the race. 

The 2024 election schedule for the Democrats, in which President Joe Biden is being challenged by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Marianne Williamson, is turning out to be a bit more complicated.

Historically, both Iowa and New Hampshire have voted ahead of South Carolina. But after a chaotic 2020 caucus, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) moved to make South Carolina the party’s first voting state, part of a reshuffling that DNC Chairman Jaime Harrison said was made in part to prioritize non-white voters.

For 2024, Iowa Democrats have proposed also holding their nominating contest on January 15, which would come before the planned South Carolina primary on February 3, but with possible concessions such as withholding the results until other states have voted and including a mail-in option.

“No matter what, Iowa Democrats are committed to moving forward with the most inclusive caucus process in Iowa’s history,” Iowa Democratic Chairwoman Rita Hart said on Saturday, adding that the party “did not have a chance to have any input on the choice of this date.”

“We’re committed to doing what’s good for Democrats, what’s good for Iowa, and what’s good for democracy,” she added. 

Hart previously said that the decision demonstrated that Democrats had “turned their back on Iowa and rural America.”

New Hampshire Democrats may buck the DNC’s changes, as it is required by state law to hold the first primary, whereas Iowa holds a caucus. Primaries are run by state and local governments whereas caucuses are run by political parties.

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