WASHINGTON Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards on Saturday joined three other Democrats who say they will skip states that break party rules by holding early primaries.
Their decision is a major boost to the primacy of four early voting states Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina and a welcome development to the Democratic National Committee.
“We believe Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina play a unique and special role in the nominating process,” Clinton campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle said. “And we believe the DNC’s rules and its calendar provide the necessary structure to respect and honor that role.”
The DNC has tried to impose discipline on a handful of unruly states determined to vote before Feb. 5 and gain influence in the election cycle.
“Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina need to be first because in these states ideas count, not just money,” Edwards said. “This tried-and-true nominating system is the only way for voters to judge the field based on the quality of the candidate, not the depth of their war chest.”
Obama said the DNC’s nominating process is “in the best interests of our party and our nation.”
Their pledges came a day after rivals Chris Dodd, Bill Richardson and Joe Biden endorsed the plan, which was promoted by Democratic leaders of the four states that have party approval to hold early contests.
They have now agreed that they won’t compete in any other states that vote before Feb. 5, as Florida plans to do and Michigan is poised to do.