Created Equal: Why the order of state presidential primaries matter

Gov. Whitmer signed a bill last year to move up the state’s primary — a move supporters believe will give Michigan voters a bigger say in the race.

Michigan’s 2024 presidential primary will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 27. That’s a lot earlier than previous years, making the state among the first to hold primaries in the race.

The change comes after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a bill from the state Legislature last year to move the primary from the second Tuesday in March to the fourth Tuesday in February — a move supporters believe will give Michigan voters a bigger say in the presidential nominating process. While state Republican voters will also be able to vote for their preferred candidate, the Michigan GOP will award the majority of their delegates on March 2 to comply with national party rules.

However, in a presidential primary with two candidates who seem to have their nominations locked up already, what will this change mean for Michigan and the nation? Two guests — U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Michigan) and Jamal Simmons, former communications director for Vice President Kamala Harris — joined Stephen Henderson on Created Equal Monday to discuss.

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U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell is a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives representing Michigan’s 6th congressional district. She says smaller states like New Hampshire or Iowa get outsized attention from presidential candidates and the media.

“They know every issue that any voter in Iowa or New Hampshire cares about,” she said. “Two small states that do not reflect the diversity of this country should not have that big an impact on who becomes president.”

Jamal Simmons is political commentator and former communications director for Vice President Kamala Harris.

Even though the nominations for Democrats and Republicans seem to have their candidates locked in with former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden, Simmons says “anything can happen.”

Listen to Created Equal with host Stephen Henderson weekdays from 9-10 a.m. ET on 101.9 WDET and streaming on-demand.

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