Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro says the lack of diversity in Iowa and New Hampshire no longer makes them qualified to lead the presidential nominating calendar. Since the late 1960’s, campaigns start with Iowa caucuses followed by the New Hampshire primaries.
Castro’s comments on Sunday evening may anger officials and voters in both states. He made the statement after pulling back from New Hampshire due to fundraising issues and other hurdles for his campaign. During an interview with MSNBC, while campaigning in Iowa, Castro said it was time to “change the order of the states.
“I don’t believe we’re the same country we were in 1972. That’s when Iowa first held its caucus first, and by the time we have the next presidential election in 2024, it’ll have been more than 50 years since 1972. Our country’s changed a lot in those 50 years.” – jULIAN CASTRO
Castro also recognized both states for taking the elections so seriously in a tweet:
But we’ve changed in the 50 years since order was established—and I believe it’s time our primaries reflect our nation’s diversity. pic.twitter.com/mY0EvnhXNr
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) November 11, 2019
New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley, reaction to Castro’s comments, said:
“I can imagine he is frustrated but blaming his campaign’s challenges on the voters of Iowa and New Hampshire is a bit much.”
Iowa is 91 percent Caucasian, and New Hampshire is 93 percent Caucasian. Castro’s complaint mirrors what other Democrats have said for years – the lack of demographic diversity in the first caucus state and first primary state.
Another Democratic nominee hopeful from South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, disagrees with Castro when it comes to re-ordering the calendar.
CAMPAIGNING IN NEW HAMPSHIRE ON MONDAY, BUTTIGIEG said: “I THINK THE ROLE OF ALL FOUR EARLY PRIMARY STATES REALLY CREATES THAT BALANCE AND MAKES SURE CANDIDATES HAVE TO VISIT DIFFERENT KINDS OF STATES AND SPEAK TO DIVERSE CONSTITUENCIES.”