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Why South Carolina? Changes to the 2024 primary calendar, explained

Biden backed a proposal to change the presidential nominating calendar and it was approved

SHARE Why South Carolina? Changes to the 2024 primary calendar, explained
The Democratic National Committee Rules and Bylaws Committee during a meeting at the Omni Shoreham Hotel.

The Democratic National Committee Rules and Bylaws Committee discuss proposed changes to the primary system during a meeting at the Omni Shoreham Hotel on Friday, Dec. 2, 2022, in Washington.

Nathan Howard, Associated Press

The Democratic Party decided to shake up its primary election calendar, making South Carolina the first state to vote in the primary presidential election.

The decision was backed by President Joe Biden before gaining official approval on Friday.

Here’s what else we know.

What are the Democratic primary calendar changes?

CNN reported that the Democratic National Committee’s rules committee ultimately decided to approve the proposal, which made “South Carolina the first state to hold a primary, followed by Nevada and New Hampshire on the same day a few days later, and then Georgia and Michigan before Super Tuesday.”

The original calendar had started with Iowa’s caucuses, but is looking to start with South Carolina “to recognize the party’s most reliable base: Black voters,” according to USA Today. As Iowa turned Republican in the tight race for the 2020 election, the new calendar system is now focusing on South Carolina first.

NPR reported that the proposal backed by Biden was formally given the green light on Friday through a vote made in the Rules and Bylaws Committee within the Democratic National Committee.

“For the .000001 percent of people who follow this stuff, this is equivalent to an earthquake,” former secretary of housing and urban development Julián Castro said, per The New York Times. “For it to change this much in one cycle is both impressive and will be very impactful in the years to come.”

Why did the Democratic Party change the calendar?

Donna Brazile, former acting chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, said the changes would be helpful to the Democratic Party in the long run, “from hearing the voices of people who tend not to matter to candidates until the end to lifting up those who also might need to be part of the process.”

Biden backed the new calendar changes proposal that is focusing on the constituents that voted him into office and “implicitly rebuking two overwhelmingly white states that rejected him in 2020,” according to The New York Times.

NPR reported that committee member Minyon Moore said, “We feel strongly that this window reflects our values, paints a vibrant picture of our nation, and creates a strong process that will result in the best Democratic nominee.”