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Battle for early-state status in Dems' 2024 presidential primary begins

A number of states and at least one territory have submitted applications to the Democratic National Committee to be considered for coveted early-state status in 2024's Democratic presidential primary, Politico reports. 

The fifteen states, plus Puerto Rico, include New Jersey, Washington, Colorado, and Georgia. And Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, Nebraska, and Oklahoma are also making for a stiff competition out of the Midwest, where "Iowa ... has been forced to apply for its traditional slot," Politico notes.

The DNC's Rules and Bylaws Committee will hear pitches from the different contenders in late June and subsequently "recommend a new early-state lineup to the full DNC by July," Politico writes.

In shaking up the election's early states, Democrats hope to eliminate caucuses and give more power to voters of color. The DNC is also focused on "maintaining regional balance, giving different parts of the country an early say in presidential nominating processes," Politico writes.

If the committee maintains the placement of certain slots — like New Hampshire's, for instance — "they might as well as not have thrown it open to begin with because it means it was all for show," mused 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro, who's criticized the ordering of early states before. The first state "is where the attention goes, where all the candidates campaign in and that state's concern receives outsized attention. Given that, it makes sense to have a diverse state with communities with a variety of concerns to go first," he said.