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Keep Iowa first, GOP leaders in early-voting states say
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Keep Iowa first, GOP leaders in early-voting states say

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Precinct Captain Dean Harris, right of center, tries to woo an Andrew Yang supporter to the Bernie Sanders camp during an alignment at the Council Bluffs Precinct 16 Democratic caucus at Thomas Jefferson High School on Monday, Feb. 3, 2020.

DES MOINES — Republican party leaders in the four early voting states want to keep Iowa’s presidential caucuses first in the nation.

The four state party leaders on Tuesday released a joint statement expressing their support for the presidential nominating calendar to remain the same. In order, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina cast the first choices for president every four years.

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Democrats are weighing potential changes to that early-voting calendar, threatening Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucus status — at least on the Democratic side. And Nevada recently approved legislation that would move its primary to first in the nation, although the national party would need to act before that became a reality.

“As the GOP leaders of the four carve-out states, we want to make clear that we stand together in protecting the presidential nominating schedule as it has existed for many years. Our alliance is strong and we will continue to work together to preserve this historic process,” said the statement from the four Republican state party leaders, including Republican Party of Iowa chairman Jeff Kaufmann.

Iowa’s enviable first-in-the-nation position is constantly under scrutiny, but that has increased in recent years after caucus-night reporting flubs in 2012 (Republicans) and 2020 (Democrats).

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