We may soon learn if Minnesota will be one of the first states to hold presidential primaries in 2024.
A crucial panel of the Democratic National Committee is gathering Thursday to select which states it will pick to conduct the early electoral contests that may wind up determining the major party candidates for the nation’s highest office. In June, Minnesota and 16 other states were chosen as finalists by the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws committee.
The Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party pitched Minnesota to the national party as “Democracy’s North Star,” citing the state’s high voter turnout, civic engagement, the concentration of rural Democratic voters, expanding ethnic diversity, and the robust LGBTQ population.
DFL Chairman Ken Martin stated in a press release that although nothing is guaranteed at this point, he believes Minnesota is a top candidate to be one of the four early states because of its high voter participation and long record of civic involvement. Furthermore, presidential candidates who do well in Minnesota’s primary elections will be in a strong position to win the state in the fall.
To be elected in Minnesota, a candidate must appeal to an increasingly diverse population and win over voters in urban, suburban, and rural regions.
In a letter to the Democratic National Committee sent this past November, Governor Tim Walz, House Speaker Melissa Hortman, and incoming Senate Majority Leader Kari Dziedzic committed to enacting legislation to advance Minnesota’s primary to an earlier date if the state was selected by the national leadership.
They concluded that Minnesota was the best place for presidential contenders to square off because it “provides a reflected portrait of America.” The Center for Responsive Politics says that Minnesota is a good representation of the rest of the country because of its strong state and local party infrastructure, its active voters, and its logistical and financial advantages for campaigns.
Of the states competing for the four early primary positions, Michigan, another diverse Upper Midwest state, is considered Minnesota’s best opponent.
The state of Minnesota held its primary for the 2020 presidential election on March 3. This date was also used by 14 other states.
Traditional primary voting starts in Iowa with the state’s caucuses in late January or early February, followed by contests in New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina. Some people say that because society is becoming more diverse, Iowa no longer represents the voters and shouldn’t be used as a presidential primary.
The next presidential primary election in Minnesota is set for March 5, 2024.
Earlier this year, members of the Republican National Committee agreed to maintain the party’s present primary schedule. Dave Hann, chairman of the Minnesota Republican Party, has not spoken out strongly for or against holding the primary. Republican leaders like former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty support holding the primary election earlier.
To proceed with the primary, the chairmen of both the DFL and the Minnesota Republican Party must provide their consent. Now that the DFL has statewide power, it may try to alter that statute without consulting the Republicans.
On Thursday, the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee will meet, and they want to wrap up their work by Saturday. Expectations had been set for a decision this summer.