DES MOINES — The Republican National Committee has unanimously voted to have the Iowa Republican Party’s Caucuses be the first voting event in the next presidential election.
“The Republican Party of Iowa has proven that they can handle this honor and I can tell you we are going to be ready to go for 2024,” Governor Kim Reynolds said in an online news conference organized by the Iowa GOP.
Iowa GOP chairman Jeff Kaufmann was chairman of a panel that made the recommendation that Iowa, followed by New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina retain their positions at the front of the G-O-P’s presidential selection process.
“If we want geographic diversity, if we want to make sure that we have a process by which all parts of the country are included,” Kaufmann said, “this was the route to go.”
This GOP decision comes as the Democratic National Committee launched a plan to have five states with racially diverse populations that may be toss ups states in the 2024 presidential election go first. Kaufmann told reporters Iowa Democrats have a chance to make the case that their party’s Caucuses should remain in the lead-off position,
“Look, I stand beside my Democratic colleagues — my Iowa Democratic colleagues,” Kaufmann said. “This resistance isn’t coming from Iowa Democrats. This resistance is coming from the national Democrats who don’t quite get that Iowa isn’t flyover country.”
Kaufmann has been arguing that Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada represent geographic and racial diversity and feature face-to-face, retail campaigning rather than just a barrage of ads.
“If you want to look an elementary student in the eye and tell them they can become president some day, you cannot start in a large state,” Kaufmann said.
As he’s done in the past, Kaufmann mentioned Barack Obama’s 2008 Iowa Caucus victory in making the case Iowa’s predominantly white electorate has elevated a racially diverse set of candidates this century, including Cuban American Ted Cruz, who won the 2020 Iowa Caucuses.
Governor Reynolds told reporters the Iowa Caucus campaign isn’t about “influencers on the east or west coast” or big party donors.
“We’ve already been hosting candidates and we’re certainly ready to welcome a lot more,” Reynolds said.
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a potential 2024 candidate, was in Council Bluffs Thursday, endorsing a western Iowa congressman’s bid for reelection. President Biden, the presumptive nominee for Democrats in 2024, was in Iowa this past Tuesday for an event at an ethanol plant.