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Does the Democrats’ new presidential calendar invite chaos in 2023?

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – National Democrats voted to reorder the presidential nominating calendar Friday, stripping Iowa of its long-held position at the front of the line and instituting new sanctions that could limit the state’s ability to defy them and launch a rogue contest.

After nearly a year of hearings and debate over a possible primary order, President Joe Biden offered a proposed calendar last week to the Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee. The committee quickly coalesced around the president’s plan, approving it at a Friday afternoon meeting in Washington, D.C.

It is expected to be ratified by the full DNC early next year.

The changes are dramatic, replacing Iowa with South Carolina as the first state to nominate a Democratic candidate for president. Nevada and New Hampshire follow with a shared primary date. Michigan and then Georgia round out the early voting window before Super Tuesday.

But party leaders in Iowa and New Hampshire have vowed to hold their contests first – regardless of the committee’s decision.

The rules and bylaws committee of the Democratic National Committee gather for three days of meetings in Washington to vote on the order of presidential nominating calendar and the fate of Iowa's first in the nation caucuses. The DNC may potentially elevate states like Michigan ahead of Iowa, which has traditionally held the first caucus in the nation.


The result could be a year of extended uncertainty and jockeying as states maneuver for a more politically advantageous spot on the calendar and navigate a complicated web of conflicting state laws. Both Iowa and New Hampshire have laws on the books stating that their nominating processes must go first.

But the national committee has put in place new guardrails and extensive sanctions for states that defy its orders — changes members hope will derail such an outcome. 

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