Feb 24, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Harry Reid calls for the Democratic Party to end caucuses

Harry Reid after voting in the Nevada Democratic presidential caucus in Las Vegas. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said in a statement to news outlets Sunday "it's time for the Democratic Party to move to primaries everywhere" and ditch the caucus system.

Why it matters: Reid remains the functional head of the Nevada Democrats. He's also "responsible for Nevada's caucuses occupying the third slot on the Democrats’ presidential nominating calendar," the New York Times notes.

The big picture: Iowa's Democratic Party chair resigned this month after software failures and reporting errors delayed caucus results, prompting requests by Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Bernie Sanders for a partial recanvass. Sanders requested Tuesday a recount of those recanvass results.

  • There were also complaints about the caucuses in Nevada.
  • Buttigieg asked the Nevada State Democratic Party to release early and in-person vote totals by precinct and address certain caucus errors identified by campaigns.

Of note: Per the NYT, "The Democratic National Committee will not take up the matter of which states will get to go first in the next presidential contest until at least 2021, and no vote on the issue is likely until 2022." But Reid remains an influential figure in the Democratic Party.

Go deeper: ACRONYM co-founder Tara McGowan on Iowa caucus app

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Nevada Democratic Party says it will look to move away from caucus system

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Nevada State Democratic Party chair William McCurdy II said in a statement Monday that the party will look to move to a primary system in future elections instead of caucuses.

Why it matters: Caucus systems for voting have come under increased scrutiny after the Iowa Democratic caucuses were plagued by software errors and inconsistencies in the results, culminating in the resignation of the state party's chair. Nevada's caucuses on Saturday were comparatively successful, but still faced some questions about the accuracy of the results.

Harry Reid endorses Joe Biden

Reid and Biden together in 2016. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call.

Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid endorsed Joe Biden for president on Monday, just one day before the vital Super Tuesday contests.

Why it matters: The endorsement isn't a huge surprise, as Reid is widely considered a member of the Democratic establishment. However, Reid worked closely with Sen. Elizabeth Warren during the Obama administration to boost consumer protections, and Sen. Bernie Sanders' campaign is run by former Reid aide Faiz Shakir.

Joe Biden places second in Nevada caucuses, ahead of Pete Buttigieg

Joe Biden at a Nevada Caucus watch party in Las Vegas on Saturday. Photo: Ronda Churchill/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden secured second place in the Nevada Democratic caucuses with former Southbend Mayor Pete Buttigieg third, according to NBC News projections Sunday.

Why it matters: It's a boost for Biden, who's expected to be endorsed by House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) on Wednesday, ahead of this week's South Carolina primary.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Feb 24, 2020 - Politics & Policy