Caucuses were tossed by Iowa Democrats. They'll mail-select a 2024 nominee secretly.

Des Moines— The Iowa Democratic presidential nominee is getting less attention this year, and it's not only because Democratic incumbent Joe Biden is in the White House.

Iowa Democrats sent in their ballots by mail instead of attending caucuses, a one-night event where community members publicly support a candidate. Results from over a dozen state primaries and caucuses will be published on Super Tuesday.

Following 2020's upheaval and the Democrats' 2024 timetable shift to target diverse states, the party broke with 50 years of tradition. Some Iowa party leaders and activists feel jilted by the national party after the repercussions.

Even more, it has frightened many about Democrats' grassroots organizing and their chances of victory in a state that has gone from a purple toss-up to a Republican stronghold in the previous decade.

Des Moines Democratic activist Nancy Bobo mailed in her ballot this year to vote for a presidential nominee for the first time since 1980 because she was sick and couldn't attend her caucus on Jan. 15. The change is a “thorn in my side,” she said. Bobo remarked, “Yeah, you vote,” but “you lose all that congregating and coming together and discussing issues.”

Bobo, an early Obama supporter, recounted the record-breaking caucus at a high school on Jan. 3, 2008, when so many people arrived that they had to transfer from the auditorium to the gymnasium. As Obama's caucus chair, Bobo had to win over her peers, especially those who supported candidates who didn't meet the Democrats' 15% viable candidate criterion.

“The excitement in the air was like nothing I’d ever experienced,” Bobo recalled of the 2008 caucus. "I doubt that what we do now will affect the national scene at all." Biden requested that the Democratic National Committee reorder early voting states to prioritize diverse votes in South Carolina and Michigan over mostly white voters in Iowa before 2024. Biden and others say the caucuses are not representative of the party.

A DNC representative stated in an email that the national party is helping Iowa Democrats “to ensure a more accessible, equitable primary process” and “to strengthen state party infrastructure”.

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