The Democratic National Committee (DNC) voted on Saturday to overhaul the party's primary process, ditching Iowa and New Hampshire as first stops.
Citing the need to better reflect the growing diversity of the Democratic Party, the committee says the presidential primary circuit will now begin in South Carolina, followed by New Hampshire, Nevada, Georgia, and Michigan.
The Democratic Party chair in South Carolina, Trav Robertson, applauded the move hailing the "economic and political impact that being first in the country . . . cannot be overstated or oversold," he told the State. "The president of the United States of America has placed a great deal of belief and faith in our people and we're going to take that responsibility very seriously."
Apart from John Kerry in, every Democratic candidate that has won South Carolina in the primaries since 1992 has gone on to become the party's nominee.
"This is a significant effort to make the presidential primary nominating process more reflective of the diversity of this country, and to have issues that will determine the outcome of the November election part of the early process," Representative Debbie Dingell (D., Mich.) told the New York Times.
The shift, which President Joe Biden favored, has caused a rift amongst New Hampshire Democrats, who took pride in their state as an early stop for presidential candidates.
"They could say June, they could say next week, they could say in five years, but it's not going to matter," the former Democratic governor of New Hampshire, John Lynch, noted in a letter to President Biden about opposition to the calendar change.
"It's like asking New York to move the Statue of Liberty from New York to Florida. I mean, that's not going to happen. And it's not going to happen that we're going to change state law."
The DNC has announced it will re-examine the ordering of state primaries every four years. The Republican Party has remained committed to preserving the current primary schedule.
New Hampshire has until June 3, 2023, to comply with the overhaul and face potential penalties including limiting the number of delegates the state sends to the national convention.
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