DNC Chair Says Dems Should Dump Caucuses, Change Order of States After Iowa Disaster

February 9, 2020

Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez on Sunday said he believes the DNC should eliminate caucuses and move to primaries after last week's fiasco in Iowa.

"I do think it needs to be state election officials running elections," Perez said during an appearance on CNN's State of the Union

Perez expressed his discontent with the botched Iowa caucus, the results of which remain unclear, and noted that he has supported primaries, which are administered by state election officials, over caucuses, which are run by state parties, since 2016.

"There were 14 states four years ago that held caucuses. Seven of them are now primary states," Perez said. "Iowa chose to keep their caucus status and I think what we learned from all the mistakes that were made— it's undeniably unacceptable."

In addition to eliminating the caucus system, Perez said Democrats should discuss the order in which states vote in the primary.

"Is Iowa about to lose their first-in-the-nation caucus status?" CNN anchor Jake Tapper asked.

"Well, that's the conversation that will absolutely happen after this election cycle," Perez said.

Perez's threat to revoke Iowa's privileged first-in-the-nation status comes after a disastrous caucus last Monday evening. Rule changes and the use of a new app led to a delay in the announcement of any results until almost 24 hours after voting began, while subsequent waves of released results showed inconsistencies and errors on the part of the Iowa Democratic Party. At present, it remains unclear whether Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) or former mayor Pete Buttigieg won the caucus, with Perez himself calling for a "recanvass" of the results.

The disaster has caused some in the party to call for Perez's resignation, with Rep. Marcia Fudge (D., Ohio) for example saying that Perez "doesn't lead on anything." Asked Sunday by Tapper if he was planning to resign, Perez responded, "absolutely not."

"The last three years, my job was to rebuild our infrastructure, to win elections. When you do that, sometimes you have to make tough decisions," Perez said.