(Bloomberg) -- President Joe Biden offered the strongest indication yet that Democrats will ditch Iowa as the kick-off to their presidential nominating process, saying the party should favor more diverse states and abandon time-intensive caucuses that he says freeze out working class voters.

Biden, in a letter to the Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws panel released on Thursday night, did not name individual states, but said: “We must ensure that voters of color have a voice in choosing our nominee much earlier in the process and throughout the entire early window.”

For more than a generation, the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primaries have been the first forums where voters can begin selecting both the Republican and Democratic nominee, giving the two small, predominately White states enormous political influence. 

The president’s letter spells out that he wants a process that would not only include a more diverse voting public but abandon caucuses altogether.   

“Our party should no longer allow caucuses as part of our nominating process. We are a party dedicated to ensuring participation by all voters and for removing barriers to political participation,” Biden said. 

“Caucuses -- requiring voters to choose in public, to spend significant amounts of time to caucus, disadvantaging hourly workers and anyone who does not have the flexibility to go to a set location at a set time - are inherently anti-participatory.” 

The DNC committee this weekend will consider a proposal that would place South Carolina first in the nominating process, followed by New Hampshire and then Nevada. Georgia and Michigan would follow, according to a person familiar with the proposal, who asked for anonymity to discuss private matters. 

The Washington Post reported on Thursday night that Biden wanted South Carolina to go first. Politico said Michigan would also join the group of early states.

The White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment. 

Democrats have become disenchanted with Iowa as it has become more and more Republican. And the state’s population is 90% White, according to the US Census Bureau. Its entire congressional delegation will be Republican after last month’s midterm results. 

In 2020, the chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party resigned over bungling that led to days of confusion as voters and candidates waited for final caucus results.

In the letter, Biden said, “Too often over the past fifty years, candidates have dropped out or had their candidacies marginalized by the press and pundits because of poor performances in small states early in the process before voters of color cast a vote. As I said then, 99.9% of Black voters had not had the chance to vote at that point, and 99.8% of Latino voters had not had the opportunity. That is unacceptable in 2024 and it must change.”  

New Hampshire remains an election battleground, and Maggie Hassan, one of the state’s two Democratic senators, criticized Biden over the letter, saying, “make no mistake, New Hampshire’s law is clear and our primary will continue to be First in the Nation. New Hampshire does democracy better than anywhere else.”

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