Georgia’s 2024 presidential primary is scheduled for March 12, despite calls from top Democrats, including President Biden, to hold the election earlier in the nomination calendar to attract a more diverse group of voters.
The date was set by Republican Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who is the only person in the state with the authority to set Georgia’s primary date.
Raffensperger argued that Democrats had never contacted him specifically about it, according to an Associated Press report, adding, “If you want to get most things done in America, sometimes you have to build consensus and reach out. hand to both sides. from the driveway.”
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But Democrats have a different story and say they spent months lobbying Raffensperger’s office and having discussions about it, despite the secretary of state’s best efforts to avoid participating in those discussions.
In February, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) voted to change its 2024 presidential nomination timeline, removing Iowa and New Hampshire from their longtime top positions.
The party says the push is aimed at giving more presentation at the top of the calendar for black and Hispanic voters in a party that has become more diverse in recent decades.
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New Hampshire strongly opposed the move because for a century the state has held the first primary in the race for the White House.
Instead, the party moved South Carolina to the top of the Democratic primary schedule. Under Biden’s plan, South Carolina would hold its primary on Feb. 3, 2024, with New Hampshire and Nevada holding primaries three days later and endorsing the idea of Georgia holding its primary on Feb. 13 and Michigan two weeks. later.
But after Raffensperger’s decision, snubbed the DNC’s proposal, which sought to reduce the influence of Iowa and New Hampshire, both of which are majority white states, the AP reported.
Raffensperger said he had no desire to approve separate primary dates for each party or jeopardize the votes of the Georgian delegation at a national party congress.
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This is the second blow to the DNC.
Last month, the party announced it would host the 2024 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, disappointing Georgia Democrats after Atlanta was a runner-up.
Although local officials considered Atlanta a frontrunner, Biden chose to hold the convention in Chicago.
Raffensperger’s decision to hold the primary on March 12 moves Georgia’s voting day just one week after Super Tuesday on March 5.
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He told the AP that waiting for that slot will make Georgia the clear “prize” in the vote that day, as it will be the only major battleground state, alongside Washington, Mississippi and from Idaho.
While there are two named challengers within the Democratic Party looking to snub Biden, the likelihood is slim within the president’s own party.
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In the Republican Party, however, there will likely be a more crowded field, and Super Tuesday traditionally yields a clear frontrunner.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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