- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 4, 2022

Sen. Joni Ernst, Iowa Republican, said Sunday that Democrats switching their presidential primary schedule to make South Carolina the first in the nation caucus — rather than her home state — is like a “middle finger” to Midwesterners.

“We have seen a number of pushes in the past to change this,” Mrs. Ernst said on “Fox News Sunday.” “I’m glad that Republicans are staying the course. I feel Democrats have really given middle America the middle finger.”

The rulemaking arm of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) voted last week to change up its presidential nominating calendar by booting Iowa as the first state amid a push by President Biden to put forward states with more non-Whites.

The change is the first of its kind since 1972 in the wake of Mr. Biden last week urging South Carolina to be put first after that state turned the tide in Mr. Biden’s favor in the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination contest. New Hampshire and Nevada will come after South Carolina, followed by Georgia and Michigan. 

Iowa has been Republicans’ first state in the presidential nominating process since 1976.

Mrs. Ernst said the GOP should “absolutely not” follow the Democrats’ lead. 

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Mr. Biden wrote to the DNC’s rulemaking committee last week that Black voters “have been the backbone of the Democratic Party” and that it was “time to stop taking these voters for granted.” He did not mention South Carolina directly. 

South Carolina is far less White than Iowa and New Hampshire, especially in the pool of Democratic primary voters in the conservative state. South Carolina’s Black voters were key to Mr. Biden clinching the nomination after struggling in the first few primaries.  

Iowa will also no longer have any Democratic members of Congress starting next year after Rep. Cindy Axne lost her reelection bid to Republican Zach Nunn.

Former DNC Acting Chairwoman Donna Brazile told the Des Moines Register that she was “so proud that we’re going to hear from more voices — voices of those who simply yearn to be heard. To be seen.”

Michigan and Minnesota also fought to become the Iowa alternative. 

“We are a purple state in the middle of the country that reflects the true diversity of the country,” Rep. Debbie Dingell of Michigan, a Democrat, recently told The Washington Times. “We have rural areas. We have urban areas.”

“We have manufacturing, we have farming, we have educators,” she continued. “We are a true purple state.”

• Ramsey Touchberry can be reached at rtouchberry@washingtontimes.com.

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