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DNC leaders discuss possible changes to presidential nominating calendar

The Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee met on Monday to discuss possible plans to change the presidential nominating calendar. 

During the meeting, the committee discussed a plan that would permit “no more than five states to be allowed to hold the first determining stage in their presidential nominating process” outside a window between the first Tuesday in March and the second Tuesday in June.

“We cannot be stuck in a 50-year-old calendar when we’re trying to win 2022 and 2024 elections … It has to be an ever-evolving process,” said Leah Daughtry, who was the CEO of the 2016 and 2008 Democratic National Convention Committees.

“I hope that we will continue to have the upfront window be as accessible as possible to candidates and not to slide into a situation where essentially, we end up with four large states up front and an election decided based on mass media markets,” Rules and Bylaws Committee David McDonald said at the meeting.

McDonald voiced concern over potentially “creating a gate [with] only people with a lot of advanced money raised well in advance and a lot of television advertising can even hope to pass through.”

“I am concerned when I see the number five in the draft resolution,” McDonald said.

“We need to make sure we have a state in every region. We cannot afford to write off the region of the country, and in our quest for competitiveness, we cannot ignore areas that we’re not yet winning,” he added.

The Rules and Bylaws Committee is set to meet again on April 13 and April 14. A revised draft of the resolution is set to be circulated before then to allow the panel to provide feedback in advance of the final draft, which is expected to be voted on at that meeting, according to committee co-chairman James Roosevelt.

Historically, two majority white and rural states have kicked off the nominating process. 

Iowa has held the first-in-the nation presidential caucuses since 1976. New Hampshire typically hosts the second contest, but is the country’s first primary. 

Many no longer view Iowa as a swing state, and its caucuses, as opposed to a primary, are typically seen as less representative.  

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