Gov. J.B. Pritzker wants to elbow Iowa and New Hampshire out of the way in future presidential elections — so Illinois can seize the starring role in the primaries.
If you’re looking for a state whose people represent the diversity of America, look no further than Illinois. It’s time for the most representative state in the country to be the first in the nation. https://t.co/2BeB4MQIcD— JB Pritzker (@JBPritzker) February 4, 2020
The governor pointed to an NPR analysis from 2016, which found Illinois is the most representative state in terms of racial makeup, and near the median in measures of college education, age, income, and religiosity.
“If you can win in a state like Illinois — with so many different regions, so many different types of people from all over this state — if you can win in a state like this, then you’re worthy of being the nominee of your party,” Pritzker told reporters Wednesday.
He also said primaries are a more democratic system than the Iowa caucuses.
The Illinois primaries allow weeks of early voting, voting by mail, and let people vote on election day from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. The caucuses, by contrast, require showing up in person for several hours on one specific weeknight, potentially excluding people who might have to work or care for family members.
The Illinois Republican Party has also endorsed the idea of going first.