National presidential primary elections have begun

With just under nine months remaining until the general election that will determine the next president of the United States, the 2024 primary season is underway. Beginning on Jan. 15, Iowa marked the start of six months of primary and caucus elections that will determine if incumbent President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump will rematch in the 2024 presidential election. 

The next Democratic primary will occur on Feb. 6 in Nevada, followed by the Nevada Republican Caucus on Feb. 8. 

Iowa is one of five states opting for a caucus system instead of the more common — and often more accessible — primary system. On election day, registered political party members met across the state to discuss and vote on their party’s candidates. The Iowa Republican Caucus occurred just one week after former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie dropped out of the running. 

The state saw an overwhelming victory for Trump, winning 51% of the vote, followed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis with 21.2%, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley with 19.1%, and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy with 7.7%. Following these results, Ramaswamy dropped out of the running, followed by DeSantis one week later. The Iowa Democratic Caucus will take place via mail-in ballots on March 5.

In accordance with a 1975 state law requiring New Hampshire to be the “first-in-the-nation,” the state held its primaries on Jan. 23. On the Republican side, Trump triumphed with 54.3% of the vote, compared to Haley’s 43.2%. 

During the 2020 primary elections, Biden placed fifth in New Hampshire. This prompted Biden’s request to rearrange the order of the 2024 state elections, placing South Carolina – the first state Biden won in 2020 – before New Hampshire. 

Despite the Democratic National Committee approving his request, New Hampshire retained their earlier primary date. Thus, Biden opted not to appear on the ballot, yet still won based on write-ins with 63.9% of the vote, followed by U.S. Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips at 19.6%. 

Biden’s first official primary win took place on Feb. 3 in South Carolina with a whopping 96.2% of the vote, followed by author and politician Marianne Williamson with 2.1% of the vote and Phillips with 1.7%. The next Democratic primary will occur on Feb. 6 in Nevada, followed by the Nevada Republican Caucus on Feb. 8. 

February will be a critical month for determining the outcome of the upcoming presidential election. First, the states holding the earliest primary elections are said to have greater influence over the outcome of the Republican and Democratic nominees. Over the years, this sequential system has received widespread criticism over the disproportionate influence of early state elections, suggesting that it violates the democratic “one person, one vote” ideal. 

February will also accompany the landmark U.S. Supreme Court appeal following Colorado’s decision to remove Trump from the ballot. Oral arguments will be heard on Feb. 8 – and the decision may affect Trump’s ballot eligibility nationally. 

This month also means that Super Tuesday, the March 5 contest when 15 states and one U.S. territory hold their elections, is right around the corner. These results will help determine if Haley has any shot at keeping up with Trump at the national level.


Featured photo courtesy of @Dianejackson, Twitter