Demos call for more early primaries, diversity

Tuesday, October 4, 2005

Democrats trying to change their presidential primaries for 2008 agreed Saturday to recommend that at least two other states join Iowa and New Hampshire in voting during the opening days of the nominating campaign.

That expansion, debated before a commission considering changes in the primary calendar, is intended to provide more racial and geographic diversity to an opening process now dominated by Iowa and New Hampshire. Those states, representing about 1.5 percent of the country's population, have residents who are mostly white.

The additional states, expected to be named later, were likely to include a smaller state from the South and a smaller state from the Southwest or West.

"We have decided to add at least two and perhaps as many as four contests in addition to Iowa and New Hampshire," said Rep. David Price of North Carolina. The exact order of the early contests was not specified "but there's a lot of sentiment on the commission to honor the role that Iowa and New Hampshire have played," Price said.

Such a change would stand to somewhat reduce Iowa's heavy role in the primary campaign.

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