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Castro says Iowa and New Hampshire are not diverse enough to hold first primary

Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro is calling for Iowa and New Hampshire to lose their status starting off the presidential nominating calendar, saying both states lack diversity. During an interview on Sunday, he said it’s time to “change the order of the states.”

His statements.“I don’t believe we’re the same country we were in 1972. That’s when Iowa first held its caucus first, and by the time we have the next presidential election in 2024, it’ll have been more than 50 years since 1972. Our country’s changed a lot in those 50 years,” he said in MSNBC interview while campaigning in Iowa.

Castro complimented both states, saying “what I really appreciate about Iowans and the folks in New Hampshire is that they take this process very seriously. They vet the candidates, they show up at town halls, they give people a good hearing.”

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He argued that demographically they are “not reflective of the United States as a whole, certainly not reflective of the Democratic Party, and I believe that other states should have their chance … I don’t believe that forever we should be married to Iowa and New Hampshire going first, and that’s the truth of the way I see it.”

Castro faces fundraising hurdles and has yet to qualify for the next primary debate, which will be held on Nov. 20, Fox News reports. New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley, reacting to Castro’s comments, said: “I can imagine he is frustrated but blaming his campaign’s challenges on the voters of Iowa and New Hampshire is a bit much.”

Other Democrats have made similar statements for years, pointing to the lack of demographic diversity in the first caucus state and first primary state. Iowa is 91 percent Caucasian, and New Hampshire is 93 percent Caucasian. Nevada, who has a large minority population and urban areas, is the third contest in the nominating calendar. In South Carolina, which follows Nevada, black voters make up the majority of the Democratic presidential primary electorate.

While campaigning in New Hampshire on Monday, South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg said: “I think the role of all four early primary states really creates that balance and makes sure candidates have to visit different kinds of states and speak to diverse constituencies.”

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