NH Primary’s Influence Endangered by Plan Sent To DNC Panel

John Distaso, Union Leader (Manchester, NH), Dec. 9, 2005

A national Democratic commission draft report recommends scheduling one or two caucuses between Iowa’s leadoff caucus and New Hampshire’s first in-the-nation primary in 2008.

The staff-written draft, obtained by the New Hampshire Union Leader, was sent yesterday to members of the Democratic National Committee’s commission on the 2008 Presidential nominating calendar. It also suggests placing two other key state primaries after the New Hampshire primary but before the opening of a “window” allowing all states to hold contests.

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The 54-page report says most of the panel’s 40 members “expressed serious concerns that Iowa and New Hampshire are not fully reflective of the Democratic electorate or the national electorate generally—and therefore do not place Democratic candidates before a representative range of voters in the critical early weeks of the (Presidential nominee selection) process.”

New Hampshire and Iowa “do not represent the racial and ethnic diversity of the party or the nation,” it says.

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The report says:

“In the end, a majority of commission members favored an approach that would preserve the first-in-the-nation status of Iowa and New Hampshire but address the diversity, representation and participation issues in a meaningful way by including other states in the pre-window period, in a schedule that would play an important role alongside Iowa and New Hampshire.”

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