South Carolina in new primary lead-off spot is good for Biden

David Pakman
Liberal Opinion

David Pakman

Host of The David Pakman Show
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The Democratic Party recently voted to reorder its 2024 presidential primary, moving Iowa aside in favor of the more diverse South Carolina in the leadoff spot. As Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) said, “This is a significant effort to make the presidential primary nominating process more reflective of the diversity of this country and to have issues that will determine the outcome of the November election part of the early process.”

Straight Arrow News contributor David Pakman agrees with some who argue the change favors a potential President Biden presidential run. Pakman also believes replacing Iowa makes complete sense.

Democrats have decided to change the order of the Democratic primaries in 2024 in a way that I have been advocating for for years, but it has now become controversial because it also seems to be designed to help Joe Biden. And some are saying this is not about doing what’s right, it’s about doing what’s good for Joe Biden.

So let’s discuss it. For a very long time now, the Democratic primaries start with caucuses in Iowa. This has been controversial for a couple of different reasons. One is the caucus process is not, ‘you show up, you spend a minute filling out your ballot, and you leave.’ The caucus process is sort of, ‘people gather at tables, and they talk about candidates and support moves around and consolidates one way or the other.’ So it’s a longer process and that can be a disincentive for people to participate.

It also has been sort of controversial because Iowa isn’t really representative of anything about the Democratic electorate nationally. Iowa is like 90% white even though the country is nowhere near 90% white at this point in time. Iowa is disproportionately rural, whereas Democrats in particular — but many Americans, tens of millions of Americans — actually live in urban and suburban settings, which are very much lacking in Iowa. And generally speaking, in terms of you can say income or education or whatever, Iowa is not really representative of anything. So why does Iowa get this privileged spot at the beginning of the primary process? That’s been one of the criticisms and I think that that is a fair criticism.

A lot of different solutions have been proposed. This includes randomly changing the order of primaries every election cycle so that every state gets an opportunity to go first or sort of early, or specifically selecting some states that are more representative of the Democratic electorate nationally, and saying they get to go first. Well, the decision that Democrats have made for 2024 is that South Carolina is going to get to go first.

Democrats have decided to change the order of the Democratic primaries in 2024 in a way that I have been advocating for for years, but it has now become controversial because it also seems to be designed to help Joe Biden. And some are saying this is not about doing what’s right. It’s about doing what’s good for Joe Biden, so let’s discuss it for a very long time. Now, the Democratic primaries start with caucuses in Iowa, this has been controversial for a couple of different reasons. One is the caucus process is not you show up you spend a minute filling out your ballot and you leave the caucus process is sort of people gather at tables, and they talk about candidates and support moves around and consolidates one way or the other. So it’s a longer process. And that can be a disincentive for people to participate. It also has been sort of controversial, because Iowa isn’t really representative of anything about the democratic electorate nationally, Iowa is like 90%. White, even though the country is nowhere near 90%. White at this point in time, Iowa is disproportionately rural, whereas Democrats in particular, but many Americans 10s of millions of Americans actually live in urban and suburban settings, which are very much lacking in Iowa. And generally speaking in terms of you could say, income or education or whatever. I was not really representative of anything. So why does Iowa get this privileged spot at the beginning of the primary process? That’s been one of the criticisms. And I think that that is a fair criticism. A lot of different solutions have been proposed. This includes randomly changing the order of primaries every election cycle so that every state gets an opportunity to go first or sort of early, or specifically selecting some states that are more representative of the Democratic electorate nationally, and saying they get to go first. Well, the decision that Democrats have made for 2024 Is that South Carolina is going to get to go first. And South Carolina, in a vacuum is actually a pretty damn good choice for states to go first, South Carolina has more urban versus rural population than Iowa does. Although South Carolina doesn’t exactly have huge cities. What is the population? Let’s see cities in South Carolina by population. You’ve got Charleston, Columbia, and North Charleston, all with over 100,000 people, okay, actually, that may not end up being that different than than Iowa. But certainly racially, South Carolina is far more representative of the United States in and the Democratic electorate in South Carolina. 69% of the population is white, which is much closer to the national average. So South Carolina is actually quite a good choice. But what is the problem? The problem is that South Carolina being first is really good for Joe Biden. If you think back to 2020, Joe Biden was not looking particularly good in those early primaries. And then it came to South Carolina, in South Carolina, I even remember where I was, when I found out about the results. I was out with a at a particular event with some friends and then looked at the results. And then it was Biden had won, and something had just changed what with James Clyburn endorsement and a couple other Democratic candidates dropping out. Joe Biden, buoyed by black support, in fact, won South Carolina, and that completely turned around the primaries for Biden support consolidated around Biden, the rest is history. He won the nomination and eventually became president of the United States. So in any year, Joe Biden, South Carolina being the first primary would have made sense in this particular election cycle, it is being called a way to try to guarantee that Joe Biden doesn’t face a prominence or likely to succeed challenge from other Democrats. Is that a fair criticism? It is fair, but at the same time, South Carolina does make a lot of sense. Now, the other interesting wrinkle to all of this is that Joe Biden has signaled his intention to run for reelection in 2024. But he has not actually declared I am running I am now a candidate for re election. There have also been questions about if Biden does run for re election, does he drop count Kamala Harris as his running mate, and bring someone else in? Because Kamala Harris is not particularly well liked. That’s a perfectly fair and reasonable question to ask, but also a controversial one because even if Kamala Harris is not particularly well liked, dropping your VP and saying I’m going to run with someone else, signals trouble and it may actually do more harm than good. So there are still many questions about whether Joe Biden will run in 2024 and how that campaign will look but but I have never thought that it made sense for Iowa to be the first primary and I am glad that it is not going to be


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