WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Iowa’s first in the nation status to choose the next presidential nominee could be in jeopardy.
This week more than a dozen states are making formal pleas before the Democratic National Committee to change the current order of the primaries and caucuses.
Iowa Democrats on Thursday defended their role in picking presidential candidates. They believe they’ve made a compelling case emphasizing Iowa’s diversity, cheap media landscape, battle ground status and 50-year record.
They had about 15 minutes to make their case, followed by a 20 minute Q&A from committee members. In a presentation before the DNC, Iowa Democratic Chair Ross Wilburn rejected criticism that Iowa no longer represents the party’s diversity.
“Iowa has helped put Democrats in the best position to win in the general election,” Wilburn said. “Rural Americans are a key group that our party nationally must connect with.”
While admitting there were major reporting problems in 2020, Wilburn said reforms are already underway to modernize the state’s caucus format.
“In order to continue growing our party we need to make changes,” he said.
Over a dozen stats are pushing the DNC to change the order of presidential caucuses and primaries. Sixteen states and Puerto Rico are making their pitch to committee members in Washington this week.
Nevada Democrats say their state is a better fit for the modern Democratic party.
“Nevada represents the bright future of the Democratic party,” Nevada Democratic Caucus Chairwoman Judith Whitmer said. “Whether it’s diversity, competitiveness or feasibility, Nevada is the answer.”
Wilburn said despite the case being made by competing states, the current order is proven successful.
“It’s their constitutional right to be wrong,” he said. “We are reminding folks we’re not just talking about tradition for tradition’s sake, we’re talking about effectiveness.”
After Thursday’s meeting, Wilburn said he’s been promised a fair process by the chairman of the DNC. When asked if he’d support sharing the first day with a state like Nevada, he would not say specifically yes or no, but insisted he’s a pragmatist and ready to do what’s best for the party as a whole.
The DNC will make its final decision about the new order in August.