Updated Apr 21, 2022 - Politics

Minnesota Democrats vie for earlier 2024 primary date

Bids for early DNC primary dates, as of April 19
Data: Axios research; Cartogram: Sara Wise/Axios

A push is underway to make Minnesota an early primary state for the 2024 presidential nominating process.

Driving the news: The state DFL Party plans to vie for one of up to five early voting day slots as part of a Democratic National Committee plan to shake up the longstanding tradition of letting Iowa and New Hampshire go first.

Why it matters: Early wins are crucial for building momentum toward the nomination.

  • Supporters argue going to the polls sooner would give Minnesota voters on both sides of the aisle more sway in choosing a frontrunner — and result in more interest, investments and on-the-ground visits from the candidates themselves.

Between the lines: The DNC is looking to prioritize states that are more diverse than the current first-in-the-nation destinations and competitive in the general, Axios' Andrew Solender and Alexi McCammond report.

  • "Folks are zeroing in on Michigan and Minnesota as probably the two leading contenders if they choose to replace Iowa [as an early Midwest contest]," DFL Party chairman Ken Martin told Axios, adding that our high turnout could be a draw.

The catch: A shift to Minnesota isn't a sure thing, even if the DNC approves. Moving the state's primary from the first Tuesday in March requires sign-off from leaders of both the DFL and Republican Party under state law.

  • A spokesperson for MNGOP declined to comment on whether chairman David Hann would support a date change.
  • Martin said he hasn't reached out to Hann yet, but thinks the proposition would benefit both parties.

Of note: The return of the presidential primary is new for Minnesota, which switched over in 2020 after decades as a caucus state.

What's next: Declared rivals for one of the slots in the Midwest so far include Iowa, Michigan and Nebraska. The DNC votes on the calendar in August.

  • Hann and Martin, meanwhile, have until next March to let the secretary of state know if they have a deal to change the date.

Axios' Andrew Solender contributed to this report.


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Twin Cities.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Twin Cities stories

No stories could be found

Twin Citiespostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Twin Cities.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more