Iowa Republicans Set Date for 2024 Caucus for Presidential Nomination

Iowa Republicans Set Date for 2024 Caucus for Presidential Nomination
People enter a caucus in Dubuque, Iowa, on Feb. 3, 2020. (Nicki Kohl/Telegraph Herald via AP)

The first-in-the-nation GOP caucus has officially been scheduled after Iowa Republicans gathered Saturday to vote unanimously on the date.

“The Republican Party of Iowa is proud to announce that we will officially hold our 2024 First-in-the-Nation Caucus on January 15, 2024,” Jeff Kaufmann, chair of the Republican Party of Iowa, said in a statement.

Like in past primary cycles, the Iowa caucus will be the first Republican presidential primary caucus in the nation, often described as the first major electoral test for White House contenders.

Early contest states play a crucial role in selecting the nominee since candidates who struggle with fundraising or popularity tend to drop out before campaigning in other states. These states also receive a lot of media attention and become centers for policy debates.

Matthew Dallek, a professor of political history at George Washington University, told PBS during the 2020 election cycle that the Iowa Republican caucuses effectively serve as “referendums on who is the most socially conservative candidate” in the Republican field.

GOP ‘Committed’ Amid Democrat Shakeup

It comes as the national Democratic Party in February 2023 approved changes to its presidential primary calendar for 2024, knocking Iowa Democrats off their first-in-the-nation perch. Instead, South Carolina has replaced Iowa in the leadoff spot.

Iowa Democrats have proposed changes to the caucus process, allowing them to conduct their presidential preference vote by mail.

Under the Democrat plan, which was endorsed by President Joe Biden, South Carolina will hold its primary on Feb. 3, 2024. This will be followed by Nevada and New Hampshire on Feb. 6.

“The Democratic Party looks like America and so does this proposal,” Democratic National Committee (DNC) chair Jaime Harrison, a South Carolinian, said at the time. The change “continues to make us stronger and elevates the backbone of our party,” he added.

Mr. Kaufmann, who spoke to reporters by teleconference on Saturday about the caucuses, blamed Mr. Biden for jeopardizing Iowa’s first-in-the-nation status, saying that “Biden thumbed his nose at Iowa Democrats and Iowans.”

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