Iowa Republicans have a caucus date for 2024. Now What?
The January 15 date was not a surprise, but it says some things about the rest of the calendar
The Iowa Republican Party State Central Committee unanimously voted on Saturday, July 8, 2023 to hold its 2024 presidential caucuses on January 15.1 Coming nearly six months before the presumed start to the presidential nomination process, the decision resolves one of the big remaining uncertainties on the 2024 presidential primary calendar.
But the selection of January 15 does not come as a surprise. Decisions on the Democratic side of the calendar equation — mainly to break with the post-reform era early state protocol and start the process on February 3 in South Carolina — forced the traditional earliest states to consider earlier options to protect their positions in the Republican process. Even with the uncertainty, Iowa Republican Party Chair Jeff Kaufmann suggested in May that the party was eyeing the middle of January as a landing spot for the precinct caucuses. Moreover, the mid-June decision by South Carolina Republicans to hold a February 24 primary relieved much of the pressure in the Hawkeye state to go even earlier in January. With the Republican contest in the Palmetto state in place, Iowa Republicans had the latitude to select a date as late as January 15 and maintain the traditional alignment: the Iowa caucuses on a Monday and the New Hampshire primary on the Tuesday eight days later and seven or more days before the next earliest contest in South Carolina on the Democratic side.
But with the Iowa Republican caucuses in place, what does that now mean for the remainder of the 2024 presidential primary calendar?
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