Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez said Monday that the handful of 2020 presidential caucuses should be the last the party ever holds.
He didn’t specifically name Iowa, which for decades has led off the nominating calendar, but his position would represent a seismic shift in the party’s traditions.
Perez’s term as chair will end before the 2024 nominating calendar is determined. But he told The Associated Press on the opening day of the Democratic National Convention that he plans to “use the bully pulpit as a former chair to make sure we continue the progress” of changes after the bitter 2016 primary fight between nominee Hillary Clinton and runner-up Bernie Sanders.
Among the changes was to push states toward primaries and at least require the remaining caucus states like Iowa to create a paper ballot system. The Iowa caucuses were chaotic this year, with state and national party officials spending days trying to determine the winner.
The next cycle is the absolutely perfect time to end the caucus. First of all, Iowa screwed things up badly enough to critically undermine the (completely unjustified) reverence with which its stupid caucus is often regarded by political elites and the political media. And second, in 2024 there will either be an noncompetitive primary with an incumbent president or a competitive primary in which nobody could be sure which candidate would benefit from democratic voting. The head of the DNC being willing to say it indicates that a lot of prominent members of the party realize that they have to go.
Caucuses are not democratically defensible, and 2020 should mark the ignominious end of them.