- The Washington Times - Monday, November 28, 2005


New Hampshire Democrats are proposing their own plan for the 2008 presidential calendar that would leave Iowa and New Hampshire first, closely followed by a couple of contests in states with more diverse populations.

Democrats in New Hampshire want to start the 2008 voting a week earlier than in 2004 or move the general start of other contests back a week to allow room for the changes.

Some Democrats have said they don’t think such a change would be that different from the 2004 primary calendar. In 2004, the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary were followed a week later by voting in six states.

“We need to decrease front-loading, increase diversity, recognize Iowa and New Hampshire laws and traditions and have a calendar that will let us elect a Democrat to the White House,” said Kathleen Sullivan, chairwoman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party. She said her state’s proposal would limit the number of early contests while assuring diversity. The populations of Iowa and New Hampshire are predominantly white.

Democrats on a national commission have been meeting all year to consider how the party’s primary calendar could be changed to give minorities more of a voice in the early selection of presidential candidates.

Some Democrats on the commission have talked about a proposal that would place two caucuses in states with diverse populations between Iowa and New Hampshire. That would probably include a Southern state with a substantial black population and a southwestern state with a large Hispanic population.

New Hampshire Democrats opposed that idea and said it might violate a state law, or violate the intention of the law requiring that the New Hampshire primary be the first such contest in the nation.

The commission is scheduled to meet Dec. 10 in Washington to make its final recommendation.

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