DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Republicans announced Saturday that the party’s presidential nominating meetings will be held on Jan. 15, the federal holiday honoring Martin Luther King Jr., pushing the first votes of the 2024 election slightly higher than six months last while the GOP tries to retake the White House.
White House candidates have been campaigning in Iowa since last winter, but there has been some uncertainty about the timing of the caucuses that traditionally begin the Republican selection process for a candidate. What has changed is this Democratic National Committee election calendarwith Iowa being eliminated as the first competition.
The Central Committee of the Iowa Republican Party voted unanimously for the third Monday in January — a date several weeks earlier than the last three election assemblies, though not as early as 2008, when they were held just three days into the new year.
Iowa Republican Party Chairman Jeff Kaufmann later told reporters by phone that the vote was unanimous and that he “never sensed that anyone was even considering voting no” on the proposed date.
“As Republicans, we, I, we can see it as a celebration of the legacy of Martin Luther King to hold a caucus here,” Kaufmann said, also noting that committee members dismissed the possibility that the contest could fall to the federal level Consider vacation before coming to appointment.
Unlike primary elections, caucuses are contests planned, funded, and conducted by political parties, not state election officials. Iowa’s announcement on Saturday allows New Hampshire, which has not set a date for the primary but has listed Jan. 23 as its preferred date, to protect its status as first in the nation, enshrined in state law enshrining the Conducting the campaign mandates at least seven days before any other elementary school.
The decision could affect both parties. Iowa Democrats had been waiting for the GOP to set a date as they try to adjust to the new DNC rules for their primaries.
Democrats have proposed holding an election rally on the same day as the Republican campaign and giving attendees the opportunity to vote for the president by absentee ballot. However, Iowa Democrats have said they may not release the results immediately.
This could allow the State party to still hold the first nationwide caucus without opposing a new one Election year calendar approved by President Joe Biden and approved by the DNC, which requires it South Carolina to replace Iowa at the top and begin primary elections on February 3.
Last month, Republican from South Carolina chose February 24 as the date for the traditional first Southern primary, giving Nevada ample time to plan its Republican caucuses without overcrowding New Hampshire.
“We remain committed to maintaining Iowa’s cherished first national election rallies and look forward to holding a historic election rally in the coming months and defeating Joe Biden in November 2024,” Kaufmann said.