After Iowa and New Hampshire, DNC Chair Says 'the Time Is Ripe' for a Conversation About the Primary Schedule


The chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) said he wants to start a conversation about the order of the primary contests.

In an interview on CNN on Wednesday, DNC Chairman Tom Perez said the party has periods of reflection, noting that after the 2016 campaign cycle the party made changes to the primary system ahead of 2020.

Now, Perez said he believes the time is “ripe” to begin a conversation about changing the order that states hold their primaries in to ensure that minority voters have more of a voice in the early stages of the race. 

“We also have to have the discussion about the question that you just raised, John. Which is, our party is incredibly diverse, and what should the order of our primary cycle be? I think the time is ripe for that conversation, and I will certainly, as your chair, be attempting to ensure that we have that conversation.”

Watch the interview below:

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Additionally, Perez said he wants to Democratic Party to “reflect the grand diversity of our party in everything we do.”

When he was asked if he was frustrated by the “whiteness” of the current Democratic presidential field, Perez dismissed the suggestion that the DNC’s debate rules wiped out a slate of minority candidates before any votes were cast, and instead said the party should have a “broad conversation about money in politics.”

“I think we need to have a broad conversation about how do we make sure we create a level playing field for everyone,” he added. 

The issue of the restructuring order of the primaries was raised by some of the former presidential contenders who argued that states with a more diverse electorate should hold primary contests earlier.

Former presidential contender Julian Castro called for a change to the primary schedule as Iowa and New Hampshire’s electorates are made up of mostly white voters. 

After the Iowa caucuses, former Vice President Joe Biden appeared to downplay the significance of the first two primary contests, and said he was looking forward to states with populations that are more diverse and “look like America.”

Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) called the chaos that followed the Iowa caucuses an “embarrassment” and suggested that Nevada should be the first state to hold a primary contest in 2024.

“Since the debacle in Iowa, [pundits] have been talking about Nevada should be the first state. Why? Because we’re a state that’s heavily diverse,” Reid told Vice, adding, “It’s really a state that represents what the country is all about.”

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