Connecticut Democrats make their pitch to the DNC rules committee. Credit: Courtesy of the Democratic Party

Connecticut Democrats were left disappointed Friday by a Democratic National Committee’s decision not to move the state up in the 2024 presidential primary schedule.

This summer Connecticut was one of 17 states to make their pitch to the Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee that Connecticut’s primary should be before April.

The plan, which still has to be approved by the full committee, eliminates Iowa as the first caucus state and gives South Carolina the first primary on Feb. 3. It then moves both New Hampshire and Nevada primaries to Feb. 6, Georgia to Feb. 13 and Michigan to Feb. 27.

“As we said in our application, we believe our state offers great opportunities for candidates to campaign in easily accessible, diverse communities and would have given Connecticut a far greater voice in the choice of a Presidential candidate,” DiNardo said in a statement. “We also understand that in any process like this one, some states will be chosen, and others will not. We’ll respect the DNC’s final decision, while holding out hope for a different outcome than has been reported.”

DiNardo had argued that “Connecticut has a rich, diverse population, and a geography that makes campaigning statewide manageable, and there is no reason why our voters should not play a more direct role in Presidential politics.”

Connecticut is a closed primary state which means only voters registered with that party can vote in the primary. New Hampshire, which is the first state in the nation to hold the primary, is an open primary state and voters regardless of their party affiliation can vote.

New Hampshire state law gives election officials the power to make sure its presidential primary is the first in the nation, but the DNC said it would punish any state that breaks with its rules by withholding delegates. 

The plan approved by the  Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee mirrors a request by President Joe Biden to the committee and eliminates Iowa as one of the first caucus states. 

“Our party should no longer allow caucuses as part of our nominating process,” Biden wrote in a Dec. 1 letter. “We are a party dedicated to ensuring participation by all voters and for removing barriers to political participation.” 

He added: “We must ensure that voters of color have a voice in choosing our nominee much earlier in the process and throughout the entire early window.”

The decision is likely to draw a number of lawsuits when if it’s finalized and whether its viability may also depend on whether the Republican parties in some of those new early states will agree to the new calendar. 

Republicans have already agreed to their own early-state lineup of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.