The Democratic National Committee rejected Nebraska’s bid to become one of the early states in the 2024 presidential nominating calendar.
The bid would have allowed Nebraska to be one of the first five states in the 2024 presidential primary lineup. It marks the first time in decades that the DNC is considering restructuring the primary schedule.
Nebraska and New York were nixed from the running, as was a group representing Democrats abroad, according to reporting by The Washington Post and Politico. Sixteen states and one territory remain.
The news was disappointing, said Jane Kleeb, chair of the Nebraska state party.
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In a video posted to Twitter, Kleeb went on to say that she’s anxious to see which Midwest states will be in the mix.
“We really made the case that a small state like Nebraska should be part of the first five presidential primary states,” Kleeb said. “We have a really strong mix of urban, suburban and rural. And that, while all states have rural communities, Nebraska’s rural communities are needed — those rural voters are needed — in order to win statewide.”
Kleeb said she’ll continue to advocate for “small red states,” “rural states” and “flyover states.”
Both The Post and Politico, citing a memo sent by DNC officials, reported the proposal from Nebraska Democrats called for a party-run primary that would be different from the existing state-run primary election. The memo said that could “create confusion by rendering the state-run process meaningless despite Democrats being on the ballot,” according to both media outlets.
Since 1972, Iowa has been the first contest in the Democratic presidential primary, followed by New Hampshire. While Democrats are weighing changes to the party’s schedule, Republicans are maintaining the status quo. The Republican National Committee opted to keep its calendar, ensuring Iowa will go first in the 2024 Republican presidential nominating contest, according to the Associated Press.
The DNC is expected to announce a decision on the schedule later this summer.