Will South Carolina Democrats keep early presidential elections?

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Former Vice President Joe Biden celebrates winning the presidential primaries from the Democratic Party of South Carolina in Columbia, Carlamina, on Saturday, February 29, 2020.

tglantz@thestate.com

Potential changes in the Democratic nomination process could give South Carolina a rare chance to advance in the party’s primary calendar and enhance its position in future White House candidates.

But first, the state’s democratic leaders want to make sure it doesn’t fall out of the group of the first primary states at all.

South Carolina’s top Democrats say they are not taking anything for granted ahead of this month’s key meeting of the Democratic National Committee, which will assess whether the schedule of the presidential primary requires major changes, including the possibility of getting rid of early status of some states. .

Ensuring South Carolina’s place in one of the first four to five contests for nomination is the first and only priority, they say, especially amid an influx of states trying to increase their influence in the presidential nomination process by vying for a seat in early calendars.

“There is no presumption of success or failure on our part,” said Trev Robertson, chairman of the Democratic Party of South Carolina. “We believe we have a great history and we believe our own [2020 primary] the election went flawlessly. ”

Robertson declined to say whether the state would try to raise the primary calendar, saying it would be “extremely daring” and “just rude” to start fighting for the post before the DNC Rules and Statutes Committee kicks off on June 22 in Washington, DC.

During the meeting, representatives of the Democratic Party from the states applying for early nomination competitions will make presentations to committee members outlining the reasons why they deserve inclusion.

The committee will then make a recommendation on a new primary calendar in August before the full DNC will consider its proposal in September.

“The fact is that other states are going to make a big game out of this, and we need to make every effort,” said Carol Fowler, a DNC member from South Carolina who is a member of the Rules and Regulations Committee. “We have to remind people why South Carolina is a good choice».

Committee on Regulations and Statutes voted earlier this year reconsider its nomination process and consider adding a fifth early state to the primaries, an increase of one of the usual four states that allowed it to hold its nomination competitions earlier than all other states. (DNC officials stress that the committee can still leave a list of early states of only four.)

The two southern states are Georgia and Texas, According to DNC representatives, they applied for inclusion in the selected group of early competitions. If the committee is elected as one of them, they could potentially jeopardize South Carolina’s place on the calendar, especially if members decide that only one southern state should be allowed to leave early.

“I think we have good success,” Fowler said. “But this is by no means a completed case. I don’t think anyone’s position is ready. ”

HISTORY

But neutral observers find such a scenario unlikely, citing the state’s tendency in recent election cycles to choose the party’s final candidate and its very influential role in the 2020 presidential primaries.

The then-candidate Joe Biden renewed his notable candidacy the main victory in the state, taking first place after a sad fourth and fifth place in Iowa and New Hampshire respectively. (He finished in a distant second place after Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Nevada.)

The victory convinced several opponents, including Pete Butigig and Amy Klobuchar, withdraw from the race and approve your candidacypreparing the ground for a series of victories next Tuesday, which actually made him an elusive leader in the race.

Democratic state voters also backed Hillary Clinton in 2016 against Sanders and Barack Obama over Clinton in 2008, key victories that ultimately helped both candidates run for president from the party.

“There’s a significant story to tell,” Robertson said. “In addition, South Carolina has been very successful not only in determining the final candidate, but also in the presidency of the United States of America during the last few nomination processes.”

Even the top DNC officials involved in the selection process are readily inferior to the state’s track record, and the way it held the primaries four years ago is impressive.

“I would say that the Rules and Statutes Committee and the DNC as a whole have a good sense of how South Carolina conducted its process four years ago,” said Jim Roosevelt, a Massachusetts DNC member and co-chair of RBC. “There is little sense that this is a representative state of an important region and an important combination of demographics.”

Iowa

Instead, speculation focused on Iowa, whose 2020 meeting, marked by long reporting delays and technological failures, was widely considered a disaster.

This year, RBC held a series of auditions about the first states involved in the nomination process, and members acknowledge that many of those who spoke to the committee focused their comments on the state, which traditionally ranks first in the presidential primaries.

“Enough people who come to us want to talk about the role of Iowa,” Roosevelt said. “We look at everything, and Iowa is just a part of it.”

Roosevelt and other DNC members stress that they have not yet decided whether Iowa or any state will retain its seat. And even if the DNC did remove the staff, it would still need to define a new calendar for the nomination process – something that, according to Fowler, the committee has not even begun to consider.

“I still don’t understand how much the members of the Regulations and Statute Committee want to intercept the whole process,” Fowler said. “So they still don’t understand whether the order of the states will change, because it wasn’t in the center of discussion.”

However, if Iowa loses its place, it could trigger a new state order. Democrats in South Carolina recognize that if given the opportunity to advance in the process, the state may not miss this opportunity.

“There will be some shuffling of how to enroll states in February,” Fowler said. “And I’m sure if the state had needed to go earlier than it has in the past, South Carolina would have willingly volunteered.”

Alex Roarti has written about the Democratic Party since joining McClach in 2017. He has been a reporter for the Washington campaign since 2010 after covering Pennsylvania politics and government during the second term of former Gov. Ed Randall.

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