Democratic National Committee votes to hold South Carolina primary first in 2024

Published: Feb. 6, 2023 at 5:15 PM EST
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BEAUFORT COUNTY, Sc. (WTOC) - It’s a major shakeup to the presidential nominating process.

The Democratic party voting Saturday to replace Iowa with South Carolina for the first primary spot in 2024.

“What they’re trying to do is put a state that has more representative demographics in the lead,” said Dr. Kimberly Martin.

Dr. Kimberly Martin, assistant professor of political science at Georgia Southern, says states with early primaries help set the tone for the rest of the race.

“In Iowa, you have a majority white population as well as in New Hampshire. South Carolina is a little bit more representative, overall of the demographics in the country. It kind of gives candidates a little more of a reality check early on.”

In response to the change, Beaufort County’s Democratic Party tells WTOC “prioritizing South Carolina, a state with diversity of race and economic status shows that the Democratic party values every American, no matter their circumstance.”

After the move, the chair of the Republican National Committee said the change will cause chaos and abandon millions of Iowa and New Hamsphire voters.

Iowa has held the first primary spot since 1972.

Dr. Martin says the moving isn’t sitting well in the Hawkeye State.

“This is a big deal for them to make this sort of change and they’ve actually been resisting it a little bit.”

Closer to home, the Beaufort County Democratic Party expects higher voter turnout in South Carolina for the 2024 primary.

Dr. Martin says the change will bring more attention sooner that voters are used to.

“...just prepare to have candidates there to talk to you. They’re going to be in your state first, if that’s the case. Also, be prepared for all those ads, all those commercials, because your state will be bombarded first before anyone else.”

Dr. Martin also points out that since President Biden is most likely going to be the democratic nominee in 2024, these changes might not make much of a difference.

The South Carolina presidential primary is most likely to be set for February 3rd 2024.