(CNN)Before the Democratic National Convention’s official program even began on Monday night, a major change in the way the party selects its nominee was floated — a proposal that would end the caucus process, perhaps forever.
“I think by 2024 we ought to have everyone being a primary state,” Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez told The Associated Press, adding: “I want everyone to participate, and having a state-run primary is the best way to accomplish that.”(Quick primer: A primary is where you go into a polling place, cast your vote and leave. A caucus involves gathering in a room, grouping yourselves by preferred candidate and then trying to woo people backing other candidates to your side. It’s a much longer process.) While Perez’s comments mark the most public acknowledgment of the likely death of caucuses in picking future Democratic presidential nominees, the writing has been on the wall since early February. February 3, to be exact.That was the day of this year’s Iowa caucuses, a vote that turned into an absolute debacle, as the state Democratic Party was unable to report a single vote for 24 hours due to “inconsistencies” in the tally. (Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg eventually edged out Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders to win in Iowa.)Read MoreOn February 4, CNN ran a piece headlined, “The Iowa caucuses just died forever.” It now appears as though we could have taken “Iowa” out of that headline and still been right.Of course, it’s not a done deal yet. Perez’s term as DNC chair will expire before any changes in the nominating calendar are considered. But assuming Joe Biden wins the White House this fall, it’s hard to imagine him putting someone at the DNC who will be a massive defender of the caucus status quo.After all, Biden finished fourth in this year’s Iowa caucuses. “I am not going to sugarcoat it,” he said afterward. “We took a gut punch in Iowa.”Do you think that a place where Biden took a “gut punch” is a place he is going to fight for? Uh, no. Ditto the Nevada caucuses, conducted later in February, where Biden finished a distant second, behind Sanders.And beyond those two states, there are just not that many caucuses left in the nominating calendar. In 2020, North Dakota and Wyoming were the only other states to hold caucuses, along with Guam, the Virgin Islands, the Northern Marianas and American Samoa.The Point: With the Iowa caucuses damaged by the 2020 debacle and a potential Democratic president with no love for caucuses generally, it’s very likely we have seen the last of the caucus for a very long time.