This week at the Republican National Committee meeting in Memphis, Tennessee, the RNC voted unanimously not to make any changes to the party’s presidential nominating calendar. This means Republicans will keep Iowa First in the Nation.
This seems like a quick, easy decision for national Republicans, but this vote was two years’ worth of work by Chairman Jeff Kaufmann and his team to make the case for Iowa, which these days, is no small feat.
National pundits, some in the media, and national Democratic leaders have taken aim at Iowa’s Caucuses for years. Of course, more pressure has come after the issues the Iowa Democrats had with their reporting during the last cycle. But Kaufmann has never backed down, garnering national attention for his strong stance on keeping Iowa first, and the benefits it has on the process of picking presidents.
“If you want to look at the elementary student in the eye and tell them they can be president someday, you cannot start in a large state,” he said on a call with the press late Thursday.
Kaufmann has been able to unite national Republicans, keeping them together on Iowa’s status, and even fighting for Iowa Democrats to go first. At a time when it’s easy to take shots at the other party, Kaufmann has stood with his counterpart Democrat Chairman Ross Wilburn on the issue of the Iowa Caucuses.
“I stand beside my Democratic colleagues, my Iowa Democratic colleagues. This resistance isn’t coming from Iowa Democrats. This resistance is coming from the national Democrats who don’t quite get that Iowa isn’t flyover country.”