(CNN)On Monday, while you were barbecuing, the Democratic-controlled Nevada Legislature made a major move to shake up the 2024 nominating calendar.
The bill, which waits the (likely) signature of Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak, would move Nevada to the front of the 2024 nominating calendar — ahead of Iowa’s caucuses and New Hampshire’s primary. It would set the vote for the first Tuesday of February and change the vote from caucuses to a primary.”It’s time for Nevada to take its rightful place, not just first in the West but in the nation, as a diverse state, a state with diverse issues,” Nevada Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson told The Associated Press.Nevada has long had ambitions to cut to the front of the nominating line, with former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) leading the charge. But the state chose to strike at what looks like a remarkably opportune moment for changes in the nomination fight. The disaster that was the 2020 Iowa Democratic caucuses has quite clearly opened the door far wider than in recent memory for a shake-up in the calendar.Read More
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And with Joe Biden in the White House — following a fourth-place finish in Iowa and a fifth(!)-place finish in the New Hampshire primary — there’s some (more) reason to believe that change could be afoot. (Biden finished second in the 2020 Nevada caucuses before winning the South Carolina primary.)To be clear: Just because Nevada has made its move doesn’t mean it will work. The national party committees will always have a major say in what the nominating calendar looks like because they are the ones doling out the delegates these candidates need to (eventually) win their respective party nominations.And even if Iowa concedes (doubtful) its prime spot, there is NO way New Hampshire will go down without a fight. State law in New Hampshire forces Secretary of State Bill Gardner to move its primary one week before any “like” contest — and a Nevada primary would definitely qualify.The Point: This step by Nevada is rightly understood as the opening move of a complicated chess match that will play out over the next few years. While the incumbent states of Iowa and New Hampshire still have to be considered favorites to keep their coveted slots, their hold on those titles is weaker than ever before.