ATLANTA, Georgia–Top Democrats have decided February 1st is early enough to officially begin the 2016 presidential nominating process. The Democratic National Committee passed a plan that recommends Iowa hold its caucus on that date, keeping the state first in the 2016 schedule.
The next three states keep their previous order as well: New Hampshire’s primary would take place Feb. 9, followed by the Nevada caucuses on Feb. 20 and the South Carolina primary on Feb. 27.
The remaining states could then schedule their caucus/primary from March 1 through June 14th . The recommendations mirror plans from national Republicans.
Party activists, Iowans in particular, got a scare in the 2012 process. Florida threatened to move up its primary and that could have meant Iowa would have had to hold its caucuses around Thanksgiving, 2011, to remain first in the process. Party leaders eventually settled on Iowa remaining first and the state held caucuses on January 3rd, 2012. But that still meant candidates, activists and staffers spent time politicking around the holidays in Iowa instead of spending the time with family.