With two years to go until Iowa caucuses, little GOP appetite to upend presidential nominating calendar

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Iowans take part in their biennial caucuses on Monday evening, as they gather at local meetings across the Hawkeye State to discuss and vote on candidates.

And with two years to go until the next caucuses, which in presidential election years for half a century has served as the kickoff contest for both the GOP and the Democratic Party in the race for the White House, there seems to be little desire by Republicans to alter their nominating calendar.

Lost amid the headlines generated by the Republican National Committee’s (RNC) move on Friday to censure GOP Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger for their participation on the House committee investigating the riot of Jan. 6, 2021, was the unanimous passage by an RNC panel of a report that makes no changes to the traditional top of the party’s presidential nominating calendar. 

The Iowa Caucuses exhibit in Des Moines, Iowa.
(Fox News)

Iowa GOP chair Jeff Kaufmann, who leads the Presidential Nominating Process Committee, told Fox News that “while we are one step closer to ensuring the carveout process is secured, I’m not taking anything for granted. If we want to ensure that anyone can be president, the carveout process and the Iowa Caucuses must be protected.”

Also sitting on the panel is the GOP chair from New Hampshire – which has held the first-in-the-nation presidential primary for a century and holds the second contest following Iowa – and the chairs from South Carolina and Nevada, the other two so-called “carveout” states that vote third and fourth in the Republican calendar.

The entire RNC will hold a vote on the panel’s report on the primary calendar when national party members convene for their summer meeting in early August.

A historical marker outside the state Capitol in Concord notes that New Hampshire has held the first-in-the-nation presidential primary for a century.
(Fox News)

RNC chair Ronna McDaniel told Fox News a week ago on the eve of the winter meeting that she had not “heard any recommendations to change the calendar” but was “not going to get ahead of our committee and our members on that front.”

And former President Donald Trump, in a statement on Saturday evening, pledged that “with me, Iowa will ALWAYS keep its first-in-the-Nation status.”

The move by the RNC to safeguard their calendar comes as some members of the rival Democratic National Committee are pushing to upend the long-standing tradition of Iowa and New Hampshire kicking off the nominating process, due in part to the lack of diversity in either state, as well as controversy over the Iowa Democrats’ meltdown in reporting the results of the 2020 Democratic caucuses.


“There’s no drama on the Republican side. The process worked very well in 2016,” former longtime RNC member from New Hampshire Steve Duprey told Fox News, as he pointed to the last heavily contested GOP nomination race. “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.”

Duprey, who sat on the nominating calendar committee during the 2016 cycle, emphasized that there’s “no great movement to change it. Everybody has a role that seems to fit well… The way the primary and caucus system works for Republicans is a point of agreement.”

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