Why are the Iowa caucuses held on MLK Day?

(Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press)

Why are the Iowa caucuses held on MLK Day?

Election 2024

Believe E. Pinho

January 12, 2024

As millions of people across the country reflect on and celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

on Monday,

Republicans in Iowa will help choose their party’s presidential nominee.

The Republican Party in Iowa did not take into account the overlap with the federal holiday of Martin Luther King Jr. when the central committee voted unanimously to set the date, state party leader Jeff Kaufmann

said last year


A party spokesman later told the Associated Press that the committee had indeed previously discussed the caucuses falling on the holiday. Asked about the date this week, a spokesperson said the party had no additional comment.

As Republicans, we can, I, we see this as honoring the legacy of Martin Luther King in terms of having a caucus here, Kaufmann said last July.

The caucuses don’t start until 7 p.m. local time, but some Iowans

to have

have already adjusted their holiday plans to the election event. The Sioux City chapter of the NAACP moved its annual MLK Day celebration to Sunday, the Sioux City Journal reported.

The Iowa caucuses are historically the first event in a year before the presidential election, which is held eight days before the New Hampshire primary. The dates vary from year to year and occasionally take place on the first Monday in February or as early as January 3.

The last time the caucuses took place on Martin Luther King Day was in 2004, when Democrat John Kerry won the support of Iowans.

2020: February 3, 2016: February 1, 2012: January 3, 2008: January 3, 2004: January 19


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