At least 18 states and one territory are vying for top slots in the Democratic presidential primary window, a reporter revealed Saturday.
The large number of candidates submitted letters of intent amid chatter that the Democratic National Committee is mulling a shake-up of the state lineup in the presidential primary, partly due to a series of snags during the 2020 primary election. Friday was the deadline for states to issue their letters of intent.
“It’s really been the case that certainly, from the 1980s forward, there have always been efforts to dethrone Iowa as first. And what mostly stopped it from happening was the lack of agreement on an alternative,” David Redlawsk, a political scientist at the University of Delaware, previously told the Washington Examiner. “Virtually every state would like to be first.”
While states that have historically been given top billing, such as Iowa and New Hampshire, appeared on the list of contenders, several newcomers also submitted letters of intent to the DNC, according to Katie Glueck of the New York Times. Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Georgia, South Carolina, Texas, Colorado, Nevada, and Washington, along with the territory of Puerto Rico and the Democrats Abroad primary, have also applied for early primary dates, the list indicated.
The list of states that submitted a letter of intent to be considered for the early primary window, per DNC official: pic.twitter.com/AuQw0x1fSK
— Katie Glueck (@katieglueck) May 7, 2022
The No. 1 spot in the primary race has been held by Iowa since 1972 — a point of contention within some segments of the party for years. Grumblings about Iowa’s No. 1 spot grew louder during the 2020 election cycle following the botched rollout of the caucus results. Critics within the party have also pointed to Iowa’s demographics, which is 90.6% white, 4.1% black, and 6.3% Hispanic or Latino, compared to the national population, which is 76.3% white, 13.4% black, and 18.5% Hispanic or Latino, per the census.
Nevada has made headlines for its impassioned pitch to DNC operatives, with representatives of the Silver State aggressively jockeying behind the scenes to supplant the Hawkeye State. Nevada, which has voted for the candidate who won the presidency in every contest since 1904 with only three exceptions, is considered purple with a bluish hue and touts a more diverse population than Iowa, a state that has increasingly favored Republican candidates in recent years.
In mid-April, the Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee initiated the application system for states, which means Iowa is no longer guaranteed the highly coveted top spot. An early date gives a state outsize influence over selecting the party’s nominee to be the next president, forcing candidates to pitch to its voters.
The DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee will evaluate the pitches and issue a recommended lineup to the DNC in July. The DNC will then hold a vote on it in August, the New York Times reported.
The Washington Examiner reached out to a spokesperson for the DNC for comment.