Jul 28, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Nevada's 2024 primary bid gets big boost from Latino, AAPI groups

People waiting in a line to vote outside of a voting tent in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Voters line up on the first day of in-person early voting in 2020 in Las Vegas. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty

With Democratic National Committee officials preparing to vote on 2024 election calendar changes next week, Nevada's bid to be the first-in-the-nation primary state is getting a big boost from several prominent minority political groups.

Driving the news: Latino Victory Fund is the latest to champion the calendar change. In a statement obtained by Axios, the national Latino organization argues that making New Hampshire the first state to vote would mark a "major step backwards" for Democrats.

  • The Asian American Action Fund (AAAFund), Democratic Rep. Judy Chu (chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus) and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus' campaign arm (CHC Bold PAC) have all endorsed Nevada's efforts in the last week.
  • The DNC's Rules and Bylaws Committee is expected to meet as early as next week to vote on a new primary calendar for 2024 and beyond.

Why it matters: This diverse coalition of Democratic leaders is amplifying an already aggressive push by Nevada Democrats to completely upend the 2024 primary calendar in hopes of refocusing the party's efforts to win voters of color.

  • The Iowa caucuses have historically been the first overall contest but aren't expected to remain so next cycle, especially after the 2020 debacle.
  • To better position the state for coming reforms, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) signed a law last year changing the state's caucus to a primary and moving its date up to the first Tuesday in February.
  • He also expanded voting access by enshrining an opt-out, mail-in ballot system into law.

What they're saying: "Few actions would have a bigger long-term impact on growing Latino political power and representation nationally than moving Nevada to be the first presidential primary," Nathalie Rayes, the president and CEO of Latino Victory Fund, said in a statement.

  • But "elevating an even less diverse state like New Hampshire to replace Iowa as the first nominating contest would be a major step backwards and a blow to Latinos and other voters of color," Rayes added.
  • CHC Bold PAC chairman Ruben Gallego and member Raul Ruiz said in a statement: "Latino voters are a critical part of the Democratic coalition and will remain key to winning the White House and majorities in the House and Senate for years to come."
  • The AAAFund said, "Nevada is the only contender fighting to hold the first primary that is home to a significant population of AAPI voters," and argued that better understanding the AAPI community puts Democrats "in an even stronger position to build a winning coalition for the White House."

The backdrop: Advocates pushing for Nevada to replace Iowa as the first state to cast a ballot in the next presidential primary point to the state's diversity and strong union presence.

  • Democrats have spent the last few years weighing the broader implications of continuing to allow two small, overwhelmingly white and rural states to have outsized influence in picking the party's nominee.

Don't forget: Latino Victory Fund was the first national Latino organization to endorse Joe Biden in the 2020 election, shortly after he finished fifth in New Hampshire and two days before the Nevada contest.

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