July 31, 2022

"Democratic Party officials earlier this year approved a plan which requires any state that wants to hold a nominating contest before the first Tuesday in March..."

"... including the traditional early four of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina — to apply for permission. Last month, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Texas and Washington made presentations to the Rules and Bylaws Committee detailing why they should be among the first states to hold presidential nominating contests in the next presidential election. At the time of the presentations, the focus was especially on Iowa, which was proposing dramatic changes to its complicated system as it aimed to maintain its 'first in the nation' status in the face of criticism of the caucus process and of the state's lack of diversity and competitiveness at the presidential level."

They're putting off the decision until after the midterm elections, perhaps mostly to keep the focus on the midterms, but maybe something about the midterms will be useful in deciding who gets to go first. Is it hard to understand why Iowa and New Hampshire have held onto their position for so long? I've always assumed that it's a deliberate effort to reduce the power of black voters. The broad field of candidates must pass first through a process dominated by white voters.


That article was written by Karine Jean-Pierre, who is identified as the chief public affairs officer for MoveOn and a political analyst for MSNBC. Of course, she is now the White House press secretary.

She wrote:
The results from Iowa are in: there are no results. On Thursday, three days after the caucuses began on Monday, the Associated Press announced that due to irregularities and how close the race is, it would be unable to declare a winner.

Here's what ultimately happened. Somehow Joe Biden got the most delegates, even though 3 other candidates got more votes than he did. And the candidate who got the most votes, by far, got the third most delegates.

Back to Jean-Pierre:

Confusion and a lack of information are the story coming out of Iowa right now. But there’s another story worth telling: that, no matter who wins, the results won’t be representative of the Democratic race for president writ large. 
And that’s because the Democratic nomination process, by starting in Iowa and New Hampshire, systematically drowns out the voices and power of black voters
There’s no doubt Iowa is important under the current Democratic primary system. It is seen as a crucial test of electability, and in seven of the last nine contested Democratic primaries, the winner of the Iowa caucuses went on to win the Democratic nomination for president. But both the state, being predominantly white, and the type of election it holds, a caucus, actively diminish the role of black voters in the process. 
By continuing to allow the Iowa caucuses to hold such an influential role in the Democratic nomination process, the Democratic party is failing its black voters, plain and simple. The first reason is one of simple demographics. Iowa is predominantly white – over 90%....

It's rigged! Now, you could say that it's rigged in favor of winning the election, and black people are benefited by having the Democratic Party in power, which is less likely to happen if black people are too influential in choosing the candidate. And yet, the black vote in South Carolina turned out to be crucial in getting the nomination for Joe Biden, and Biden did go on to win. If the nomination had gone to one of the candidates who did better amongst the white people of Iowa, then maybe Trump would have won. Those candidates were, in order by popular vote, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, and Elizabeth Warren.

Back to Jean-Pierre:

Why does a political party that counts on black voters let a state where just 3.8% of the population is black have such a big influence? Of course, the next state in the process – New Hampshire – isn’t any better (it’s actually worse – it’s 94% white). By the time the race for the Democratic nomination hits South Carolina, the menu has already been set. South Carolina’s voters, which includes a much more robust black population, are left choosing among options dictated by predominantly white states.... 

Pete Buttigieg infamously was polling at 0% nationally among black voters – but is currently neck and neck with Bernie Sanders for number one in Iowa. Meanwhile, the candidate who’s shored up the most support among black voters nationwide, Joe Biden, is doing worse than expected in Iowa, currently coming in at fourth.

Ultimately, he was fourth, but somehow he got 14 delegates, while Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, and Elizabeth Warren got 9, 12, and 5, respectively. How rigged was that? Rigged to unrig?

One of the most recent polls showed Biden winning an astounding 48% of black voters, with the second-highest candidate, Sanders, at 20%. Buttigieg isn’t quite at zero – but he was polling at just 2% of black voters in this poll. In Iowa, we’re watching the current Democratic primary system silence black voters in real time. It’s time to put an end to it. If the Democratic party is going to dismantle white supremacy, it can start right now by dismantling another system: its very own primary and caucus system that effectively diminishes black voters’ voices. 

Well, that's what I was assuming. It's interesting to find this 2-year-old article by the now-prominent Karine Jean-Pierre saying it all so clearly. 

52 comments:

StoughtonSconnie said...

“Now, you could say that it's rigged in favor of winning the election, and black people are benefited by having the Democratic Party in power, which is less likely to happen if black people are too influential in choosing the candidate.” Show me “black people” in general (not activists) who have benefited from democrat rule, and I’ll show you smoke I hold in my hands.

RideSpaceMountain said...

"I've always assumed that it's a deliberate effort to reduce the power of black voters."

Hmm, dunno. I am for whatever system reduces the power and influence of Karine Jean-Pierre, and anyone like her.

Gunner said...

Primaries won't be fair until black votes count 10 times as much as other votes!

Michael said...

Iowa and NH led the way as they were seen as the moderate middle states that could elevate a candidate that could attract swing voters come November.

hawkeyedjb said...

"...New Hampshire – isn’t any better (it’s actually worse – it’s 94% white)"

The whiter, the worser. The casual racism of Democrats used to surprise me, but now I accept it as a normal part of their character.

Beasts of England said...

Mayor Pete hardest hit.

Lem said...

The nomination of Joe Biden was a cold opening. (See “cold opening” Wikipedia page)

Nobody thought they would do the same, the general.

gilbar said...

yes! Absolutely! The Democrat Party, should become the Party of the Black People!
No One that is not a Black Activist should be allowed to run in the Democrat Party
Any whites remaining should be hounded out of the Party, not just candidates but rank and file!
Think HOW POWERFUL the Democrat Party will be, once it consists SOLELY of Black Activists!!
Fuck the whites!! If they want to vote, let them vote for republicans
Same for asians hispanics arabs native americans ANYONE.. Make the Democrat Party the Black Party

MadTownGuy said...

"Here's what ultimately happened. Somehow Joe Biden got the most delegates, even though 3 other candidates got more votes than he did. And the candidate who got the most votes, by far, got the third most delegates."

That's a rather undemocratic way to assign delegates, isn't it? The Party (capitalization intentional) already had its anointed candidate based on leadership's assessment of electability. Something about this reminds me of the sudden, and tearful, withdrawal of Barbara Lawton from the WI gubernatorial primary in favor of Tom Barrett, an all around good guy. Lawton's withdrawal looked to me as though it might be due to orders from Party headquarters.

The Democratic Party should change its name.

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

As always, anything like real historical context is lacking. Humphrey was able to win the Dem nomination in 1968 despite having not run in any primaries/caucuses. This was already unusual--strange twists caused by LBJ--but it happened. The old bosses on the Convention floor, Humphrey looking down at (white) protesters/rioters from a high hotel room and asking "what's going on?" You're losing the election to Nixon.

I believe the Iowa caucus was rightly considered pretty unimportant until Carter won it in 1976 and got on the cover of one of those newsmagazines. It was like JFK (who ran in very few primary events) winning West Virginia: not really in his usual lane, unexpected good news for him. We were heading toward 24-hour-a-day, 365-days-a-year all the time news coverage, so the reporters were pleased to have more to cover, in person accounts of the tacky motels etc. Wow, what a sacrifice those reporters are making. Have Dem leaders enjoyed and deliberately maintained a system that silences blacks until later in the process? Has this been somewhat of a clever strategy to win white votes in the country at large? I don't know if their thinking is that sophisticated--Iowa is a farce.

I agree with some comments above: the problem for blacks is not that they haven't been heard, but that the people they keep electing do little for them except make the right speeches at funerals. Like the Irish used to be.

Buckwheathikes said...

So, clearly, they're not going to run Joe Biden for a second term.

Otherwise, there would be no need for any state-level primaries to "choose" a candidate. Why waste the money?

If they were going to run Joe Biden, they'd go straight to the convention for all the free advertising their corporate cronies and media sycophants would give them.

Dave Begley said...

Both Iowa and NH are relatively small states. A retail campaign without a lot of money can win. Think Jimmy Carter.

John henry said...

Why does a political party that counts on black voters let a state where just 3.8% of the population is black have such a big influence? Of course, the next state in the process – New Hampshire – isn’t any better (it’s actually worse – it’s 94% white)

That is a particularly annoying sentence.

My first thought, in context, was that if NH is 94% white, it is 6% black. 6 is more than 3.8 so how is NH more white than Iowa?

I suppose the 6% non-white population includes others besides blacks so maybe NH really is more white.

Sure is sloppy writing, though.

John LGBTQBNY Henry

MadTownGuy said...

From the post:

"I've always assumed that it's a deliberate effort to reduce the power of black voters. The broad field of candidates must pass first through a process dominated by white voters."

Are you assuming that Democrats in Iowa and New Hampshire are racists? Why wouldn't a candidate like, say, Barack Obama, win those primaries? In 2008, Hillary Clinton won, though not by much - she and Mr. Obama received the same number of delegates - so I'm not convinced that voters in NH are intractable racists.

Meade said...

Democrats: “blah blah blah… OUR DEMOCRACY… blah blah blah”

Your “democracy” is undemocratic, Democrats.

Maynard said...

The Iowa Democrat caucus is run by the fervent lefties who live in Iowa City (U of Iowa), Cedar Rapids, Dubuque and Davenport (unions). From personal experience, they tend to be nice people who are completely and absolutely dedicated to the Party.

Mike Sylwester said...

Dave Begley at 8:22 AM
Both Iowa and NH are relatively small states. A retail campaign without a lot of money can win. Think Jimmy Carter.

Excellent point.

Perhaps the first Democrat primaries should be in Maryland and Delaware, which are small but have more Blacks.

The first Republican primaries still could be in the small, White states of Iowa and New Hampshire, because Blacks do not vote for Republicans anyway.

Temujin said...

Yeah, this one caught me as well: "Now, you could say that it's rigged in favor of winning the election, and black people are benefited by having the Democratic Party in power,...".

Yes, you could say this, and most of the media, academia, and remaining Leftists continue to say that, despite the world in front of them.

I don't know how, by any objective standard, this could be continued to be pushed out as fact. The evidence of your senses would contradict that statement- and it's not even close. There is nothing the Democrats have done for Black America other than, by their policies and by their direct activities, broken up the Black family, destroyed the public school system, degraded societal standards, and made organized religion a thing to be mocked and left behind- along with it, those societal standards.

Last Republican Mayor in these cities:

Baltimore: 1947
Chicago: 1923
Milwaukee: 1908
Newark: 1953
Cleveland: 1989
New Orleans: 1872
Philadelphia: 1952
Detroit: 1962
St. Louis: 1949
Kansas City: 1979
San Francisco: 1964
Los Angeles: 2001
Portland: 1980
Seattle: 1969
Boston: 1930

I could keep going, but you get the picture. And to add to this, many of the states that these cities are located in are one party states or mostly one party: Democratic. So if you think Black America is better off living in Seattle or Philadelphia or Chicago because Democrats have been front and center doing the right things, I've got a Teachers Union donation website link to send to you. You and KJP can keep donating to them.

What is the definition of insanity? Doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results?

Breezy said...

Objectively, its healthy for a party to review the primary/caucus sequence and make adjustments. The flip side is the extreme wings of the party will browbeat the rest to conform to their whims, and then push that party into an electoral wilderness, rarely winning. In the case of the present day Democrats, I’m fine with that.

Gravel said...

StaughtonSconnie put it more politely than this, but to drive the point home, you can say that “ black people are benefited by having the Democratic Party in power”, but you’re a fucking idiot if you do.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Who won the last Democrat primary in Iowa? Seems to me that they need to answer that before imposing new rules on states.

Mary Beth said...

It's not as if the elected delegates matter when there are also appointed super-delegates. The parties will nominate who they want to nominate. It is convenient when voters pick the same candidate, but not necessary.

Critter said...

So Democrats are just now saying the Democrat Party is racist? Better late than never.

ConradBibby said...

I don't know if Iowa's and NH's traditional status as early primary states was specifically designed to exclude black voters. I do know that democrats systematically deprived blacks of their right to vote AT ALL for about a century after the Civil War.

That said, I have about the same sympathy for blacks who complain that the dem party is holding them back as I do for a person who complains over and over about their abusive partner yet never moves out or gets a divorce. Seriously, what has the democrat party ever done to improve the lives of black people?

Paul Sand said...

Granite Stater here. I assume that NH Democrats running for re-election (Hassan, Pappas, Kuster) begged the national party to avoid doing anything that might affect their winning chances.

My favorite bit of NH Primary trivia: The last time the Democrat winner of a contested New Hampshire Primary went on to win the general election was 1976 (Jimmy Carter).

Michael K said...

I've always assumed that it's a deliberate effort to reduce the power of black voters. The broad field of candidates must pass first through a process dominated by white voters.

That has never occurred to me but then I have not voted for a Democrat except for LBJ, which I regretted soon after. By all means let the blacks choose the Democrat candidate. That is how Biden got it. Clyburn made him promise a black VP and Supreme Court nominee. That has certainly worked out well.

Roger Sweeny said...

It's been a while since Steve Sailer offered this cynical advice: The Republican Party has been successfully marketed--by its enemies--as the white people's party. If you're not white, you shouldn't have anything to do with it. If Republicans truly wanted to win, they would try to market the Democratic Party as the black people's party. Republicans following the Sailer strategy would love for the first Democratic primary to be someplace like South Carolina. They would be licking their lips for stories like, "Stacy Abrams leading for Democratic nomination".

Big Mike said...

If you don’t force candidates to campaign in Iowa then they can safely ignore the needs of farmers. (Which are ultimately the needs of people who don’t wish to slowly starve to death,)

Sri Lanka, The Netherlands, and now Canada seem to think that the needs of farmers are negligible. Are we next?

Big Mike said...

@Meade (8:27), damned good point.

Jupiter said...

"I've always assumed that it's a deliberate effort to reduce the power of black voters."

That was then. Now it's a deliberate effort to reduce the power of the LGBTQX+ community.

Beasts of England said...

‘Republicans following the Sailer strategy would love for the first Democratic primary to be someplace like South Carolina.’

Republicans really don’t need to do anything. Hispanics are waking up to the perverse values of the Dem platform, and are also aware of their placement on the intersectional totem pole: beneath the BLM and rainbow flags.

Joe Smith said...

To be fair, blacks are 12 percent of the population but 89 percent of all advertising actors and models...

Narayanan said...

so Mr Buckely's Boston Phone Book <=> Democrat Nomenklatura list

rehajm said...

It's not as if the elected delegates matter when there are also appointed super-delegates. The parties will nominate who they want to nominate. It is convenient when voters pick the same candidate, but not necessary

I came to say this. Even with the changes after the Hillary/Bernie superdelegate problems it’s the party insiders with all the power to choose the candidate, not the voters…

…even if you don’t agree the Democrat machine in key states will chug along anyways. You don’t get the votes you need to win unless the union bosses and city corruptocrats bless your candidacy.

Narayanan said...

Iowa's and NH's traditional status as early primary states
====
when did the tradition begin and take root?
can assumption/hypothesis/theory can be validated?

that should be big clue and also genuine curiosity effort at originazion-ism

FYI === in my originazion-ism : I hold that Constitution was betrayal of Declaration [all men ...]

DougWeber said...

Actually, this might be a feature not a bug.
The purpose of the party is to nominate the candidate most likely to be elected in November. Historically that required getting a significant percentage of the white, middle-class people, who historically were the majority, not the urban dwellers who were mostly under machine control.. So choosing states that consist mostly of these type of people gives one good indication of the appeal of the candidate to what is the largest group that needs to be own over. For example, a candidate loved deeply by the black constituency but much hated by the white middle class, would have had a very hard time getting elected. One may deplore this but it is a natural consequence of majority rule.

Note that it is not unreasonable to assume that the leaders of the demographics that are assured voters for your party will have large influence on the party and so on its candidates and be well represented in the part management.

Also note that the assumption behind this may becoming suspect, which may explain why this issue is now arising.

gilbar said...

Lloyd W. Robertson said...
I believe the Iowa caucus was rightly considered pretty unimportant until Carter won it in 1976

It certainly wasn't very important before it existed; That's for sure!.
https://www.npr.org/2016/01/29/464804185/why-does-iowa-vote-first-anyway

After the 1968 Democratic National Convention protest activity, Democratic Party leaders decided to make changes to their presidential nomination process by spreading out the schedule in each state. Because Iowa had a complex process of precinct caucuses, county conventions, district conventions, and a state convention, they chose to start early. In 1972, Iowa was the first state to hold its Democratic caucus, and it had the first Republican caucus four years later.

So, there WASN'T an iowa presidential caucus until 1972. Actually, "Political parties in Iowa have used caucuses to select party leaders and candidates for office since the 1800s"
But before 1972, they weren't really open to the public (Smoke Filled Rooms)

grimson said...

The main purpose of the earliest primaries is not to identify who should be the party's nominee, but to identify those who have no chance and so should drop out.

The racial makeup of those states is not significant. What's significant is the conscientiousness with which the voters in those states take their responsibility in weeding out the field.

Kevin said...

As part of reparations, only black people should choose the Democratic nominee.

Let’s hear white Democrat object to that.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Under the current system, early states get to be influencers, middle states get to be deciders, and late states get to be tiebreakers. What’s the better position? It’s worth noting that only 18 of the 51 states plus DC applied to be in the very first group.

n.n said...

Our Constitutional order is forfeited through Democrat steering schemes and diversity [dogma] (i.e. color judgment, class-based bigotry).

Rollo said...

Long ago you could say that voters in small, overwhelmingly White states were more conservative than voters in larger urban states with more African-Americans. That's been turned on its head lately. White Democrats are further left now in the sense that they support the party's current gender/sexual identity/ climate change policy more than Black Democrats. White Democrats are also more likely to be Sanders supporters than Southern African-American Democrats.

Caucus states push the party further left, since activists love to put in time after other voters have given up. If the party still rewards states that support it in elections that's another thing pulling the party leftwards (i.e. towards the social/environmental program and away from moderation).

khematite said...

Tamping down the influence of the black vote might be one of the current impacts of a presidential nominating process that begins with Iowa and NH, but it wasn't the original purpose. The NH primary was instituted in 1912, long before black voters were important in the nominating process. The primary aim of the Progressives who enacted it was to democratize the nominating system, long seen as in thrall to a handful of state party bosses working behind the scenes in "smoke-filled rooms" at the nominating conventions.

The idea of putting an Iowa caucus in line ahead of the NH primary was the brainchild of the McGovern-Fraser Commission, created in the wake of the 1968 debacle at the Democratic convention in Chicago. That convention left Hubert Humphrey as the nominee of his party despite his not having entered a single primary (the result of LBJ's last-minute withdrawal from the race). The Commission's recommendations included binding convention delegates to the candidates who had won their state primaries Encouraging caucuses was also seen at the time as a nod to "participatory democracy, in which voters would show up in person, publicly state their support of presidential candidates, and try to persuade--ideally, with rational policy arguments--each other to come over to the side of their preferred candidate. This was viewed as theoretically more democratic than standing on a line, entering a curtained voting booth, flipping some switches, and going home.

And if the alleged purpose was to limit the influence of black voters, that certainly was not claimed for a long time. Most Democratic presidential candidates from 1976 on were consensus candidates and black leaders and voters were generally part of that consensus. By 2008, in fact, the vote in the Iowa caucus was Obama 38%, Edwards 30%, and Hillary Clinton 29%. In the NH primary, the vote was Hillary Clinton 39%, Obama 37%, Edwards 17%. Running for renomination in 2012, Obama faced no significant opposition and swept both the caucus and the primary. There's really no significant evidence that black voters had been sidelined in the nominating process of the Democratic party.

Moreover, when such complaints did begin to emerge, the Democratic National Committee responded by putting South Carolina third in the process, just a week or two after NH. The clear purpose of that was to bolster black influence in the nominating process. Similarly, putting Nevada fourth in line to vote was aimed at bolstering Latino influence. As Biden's triumph in the SC primary showed, the days of Iowa and NH serving as gatekeepers of the presidential field are gone, probably forever. Despite doing poorly in both Iowa and NH, Biden was completed resuscitated by his showing in SC--and ended up making Jim Clyburn the presidential kingmaker of 2020.

rcocean said...

Does it really matter? The Democrat sheep don't really care. Just give them a candidate and they'll vote for him,her, it.

Senile? Who cares. Anti-American? That's a plus. corrupt? Don't care. Will destroy the USA? Meh. As long as those Goddamn Republicans die too.

IN 2020, Iowa never got around to a final vote count. It was too complicated. Or something. Did the D's voters care? Nope. Later Biden won SC with 35 percent, and all the other candidates dropped out. And that was the end. Did the D voters care? Nope.

People like Graham, McConnell, Cruz etc. envy their D counterparts. If only the Republican votes were such sheep!

Tina Trent said...

The Democratic Party has a nominating process that makes state votes less significant because of Superdelegates.

Maybe the aggrieved states should focus on those Party rules, if it's actual equity they are seeking.

Also, as I repeatedly had to disabuse during my miserable organizing days: political parties are not small-d democratic. They are private organizations that let you participate in very limited ways. You have little power in the primaries unless you're behind the curtain. The rest is all smoke and mirrors. And that reality extends to libertarians and all of God's other third-party fools.

No matter what you think of him, it's a political miracle that Trump won the GOP primary. The rest of the race was, comparatively, anticlimactic.

Tina Trent said...

Shhh, Khematite. Historical facts die in comment threads.

Bunkypotatohead said...

If blacks are 13% of the population, then they should be getting one presidency every 8 elections. Fair is fair, after all.
So we shouldn't have to endure another one for about 24 years. Obama's performance may have insured he will be the last one.

wildswan said...

Biden being who he is, why is anybody rushing to claim that their group was the one which got him nominated as the Dem candidate. Make South Caroline first in the Dem primary process and get another nominee like Joe Biden? Great plan. Maybe Hunter. Or how about Chesa Boudin? - he doesn't have job right now.
And what did the black community get in exchange for their loyalty. A promise of more abortions. Big Dem city schools will stay bad and Dems will try to keep the children of the black community from escaping them. Murders will continue to rise in that community. And none of this is caused by white supremacy because all of this is supported by the Black Caucus as good Dem policy -, yes, the Dems, the party the blacks are keeping in power. It's a mystery.

Brian said...

The Democrats have always controlled the nomination through the nomination system itself. Through the use of superdelegates, the party leaders can control the direction and ultimately acts as a tie breaker. It also means that candidates have to campaign to party leaders and not just the populace. It's how they always seem to avoid nominating socialists like Bernie Sanders.

The Republicans, conversely, don't have similar mechanisms in the nominating process, but they traditionally controlled the nominating process through money. The "donor class" of the party would direct their efforts through fundraising. It's how candidates like Pat Buchanan failed, and candidates like McCain and Bob Dole were nominated.

That all worked till Trump broke the mold. He didn't need the money and ran a traditionally "cheap" campaign. It's one of the reasons he ran as a republican. Even with his donations throughout the years to the Democrat party and his kowtowing to politicians for decades, he knew he wouldn't be able to crack the closed system of the Democrat nominating process.

In the Showtime series "The Circus" during the 2016 nominating process, there was a lot of talk about "What can stop Trump". Mark McKinnon was sitting in a restaurant asking Republican party donors how the nominating process was going to shake out and they all said Jeb Bush. That was who they were putting their money behind.

Brian said...

No matter what you think of him, it's a political miracle that Trump won the GOP primary.

Actually it isn't. You are just looking through the wrong frame.

The republican party had no controls in its process to stop a candidate that got a lot of votes. The party always assumed they could control the candidate through funding. No funding, means no exposure. No exposure, means no votes.

Trump didn't need funding. He got free exposure. Like he has been doing all his life.

Democrats control exposure through the superdelegates. Superdelegates would communicate to the media who should get exposure. Simply by endorsing. It's how Obama won the nomination process (Harry Reid hated Hillary Clinton, it's in "Game Change" by Heilemann). It's arguably how Clinton won the nomination (moderate democrats pushing back against the Northeastern liberals like Cuomo or Michael Dukakis.

Brian said...

Here is the video I mentioned above about "The Circus". I must have projected the Jeb Bush thing, but you notice the representative of one of the PACs is indirectly saying that groups like his can control who gets nominated.

They were just wrong. It worked in the past, but not for a Billionaire like Trump.

Free Manure While You Wait! said...

Our elections would all have much better outcomes if all white folks, as a condition of voting, were required to take a literacy test.