Friday, April 14, 2023

Invisible Primary: Visible -- Friday Quick Hits

Thoughts on the invisible primary and links to the goings on of the moment as 2024 approaches...

The Iowa bill that would restrict how parties could conduct presidential caucuses advanced out of a House committee a party line vote on Thursday, April 13. But Democrats are already hinting at defending their plans through legal challenges (while stressing that the state party is still working on a delegate selection plan for 2024). 

DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee member from Iowa Scott Brennan had this to say:
It’s a solution in search of a problem. I don’t understand it. It makes no sense. We have decades of history where the two parties came together and talked about issues important to Iowans in our (Caucus) process. Nothing this time.

[As an aside, Democrats are attempting to present some uncertainty here, calling the legislation premature. Honestly, the state party can attempt to delay/create uncertainty in this instance because the Iowa Democratic Party delegate selection plan, no matter what ultimately makes it into the draft, will go back and forth between the state party and the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee before it is finalized (perhaps well into the summer if not beyond).]

Idaho Republican Party Chair Dorothy Moon did not pull any punches in a recent local op-ed concerning the presidential nomination process in the Gem state for 2024. 
"This past legislative session, Secretary of State Phil McGrane brought forward House Bill 138 — a bill that would remove the Republican Party’s March presidential primary. The bill passed out of the Legislature and was signed into law by Gov. Brad Little.

"McGrane and his backers say an error and omission in the legislative language unwittingly removed the presidential primary; their goal was to move the primary to May. But because of sloppy drafting, Idaho is now without a “legal mechanism for political parties to request a presidential primary election,” as McGrane recently put it.

"In essence, McGrane’s goof makes an Idaho GOP presidential nominating contest that much more difficult for the people. Where does that leave us? The Idaho GOP is evaluating all legal avenues and working to determine how to safeguard the early March nominating process that has already brought significant benefits to Idaho."
She is not wrong. The "goof" was clear from the start. Now Idaho has no presidential primary (without a legislative fix). In the meantime, state Republicans can go a different route. And the state party seems to be exploring its options. But Moon has apparently backed off her proposal to hold (noncompliant) February caucuses. The emphasis appears now to be on keeping the process, whether primary or caucus, in March.

Never Back Down, the super PAC affiliated with the nascent Ron DeSantis bid for the Republican presidential nomination has made its first ad buy, set to roll out nationally on Monday, April 17.

Wyoming Republicans convene in Jackson this weekend and will have an election for chair amid an internal party squabble that may have been the story of the 2023 legislative session in the Equality state. FHQ raises this not because of the fight, but rather because these are typically the settings where decisions are made on rules for the coming presidential nomination process. That may or may not be in the offing this weekend in Wyoming, but it is worth flagging nonetheless whether the party battle affects the rules or not. 

Over at FHQ Plus...
  • Michigan Republicans still do not seem to realize what they are up against in opting into a non-compliant presidential primary or going the alternate caucus route. 
If you haven't checked out FHQ Plus yet, then what are you waiting for? Subscribe below for free and consider a paid subscription to support FHQ's work.

On this date... 1984, Democrats held caucuses in Arizona. 1992, Republicans caucused in Missouri. 1999, former Vice President Dan Quayle (R) announced a run for the 2000 Republican presidential nomination. Quayle as a classic "running for 2000, but did not run in 2000" candidate. He later withdrew in September 1999. 2012, President Barack Obama swept a series of western Democratic caucuses in Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska and Wyoming. This cluster was the among the first to get the regional bonus delegates for clustering contests together on the same date. 2019, Pete Buttigieg announced his intentions to seek the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination (after having formed an exploratory committee in January).


No comments: