After Iowa caucus results debacle, should Illinois primary be first presidential test in the nation?

CHICAGO (WLS) -- After this week's Iowa caucus debacle, there's a push to make Illinois the first presidential test.

For decades the Hawkeye state has carried the notoriety of being the first presidential test in the nation, but after Tuesday's meltdown with results, Iowa's status in jeopardy for 2024.

RELATED: Iowa Caucus 2020: What happened and what's next

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker said it's time for Illinois to be first.

"Our state is more representative of the United States, with rural, urban and suburban environments of the entire country, from the technology to the farming industry," Pritzker said.

The governor said if a candidate can win in a diverse state like Illinois, then he or she is worthy to be the nominee of the party. It's a strong argument for the national political parties if they plan to make a change, but political experts said there is a downside for some candidates to start the presidential nominating process here.

"It's hard to imagine more than four or five would consider a run if they had to start in Illinois, where the cost of advertising and organizing would be so expensive," said Wayne Steger, professor of political science at DePaul University.

The Chicago media market would be tough for candidates on a shoestring budget to afford. Being first would bring in a huge infusion of cash to Illinois, and promises from candidates.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle joined the governor in his push to convince the Democratic National Committee to start with Illinois.

"The question is whether we have just a presidential primary which some states have and a regular primary later or whether we do everything at the same time," she said.

Preckwinkle favors holding two primaries in order to give local candidates more time to campaign.

Illinois Democrats are not the only ones who are pushing for the state to be first in the presidential process; state Republicans support the idea as well.
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