Former Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidHarry Reid says he’s cancer free White House gets jolt from strong jobs report Murkowski, Mattis criticism ratchets up pressure on GOP over Trump MORE (D-Nev.) on Sunday said that the early primary voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire are no longer representative of the country and should not have an outsized role in selecting the president.
“I don’t think it matters what happens in Iowa or New Hampshire because those states are not representative of the country anymore,” Reid said Sunday, according to The Associated Press.
Reid said his home state of Nevada, which is third in line to hold its presidential primary, is more representative of the country’s demographics than both Iowa and New Hampshire.
Reid pointed to the Latino, black and Asian American population in Nevada as the reason behind his rationale.
Nevada’s population is made up of about 48 percent white residents, compared to Iowa’s white population of roughly 85 percent and New Hampshire’s 90 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. About 60 percent of the U.S. population as a whole is white.
Reid said too much focus is placed on Iowa and New Hampshire early on, limiting Nevada’s and other states’ roles in electing the president.
“You guys make too big a deal out of it,” Reid told reporters ahead of a fundraiser for the Nevada Democratic Party. “Iowa and New Hampshire are just not indicative of what is going to happen.”
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Nevada and South Carolina, the third and fourth states to vote, respectively, have considerably more diverse demographics than Iowa and New Hampshire. Black voters make up about two-thirds of the Democratic primary electorate in South Carolina.
Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, a 2020 Democratic presidential contender, made similar remarks last week.
“Demographically, it’s not reflective of the U.S. as a whole, certainly not reflective of the Democratic Party, and I believe other states should have their chance,” Castro said.
Castro noted that the racial makeup of the Democratic Party and the country as a whole has changed considerably in the nearly 50 years since Iowa was chosen to be the first in the nation to vote back in 1972.
In 2016, Reid knocked the order of early voting states while touting Nevada’s diversity in an interview with PBS Newshour.