DES MOINES — Iowa Democratic Party officials have presented national party leaders with population and election data — and a vote-by-mail plan for the 2024 Iowa Caucuses — all in hopes of keeping the caucuses first in the nation.

“Starting this process in Iowa has resulted in our Democratic nominee winning the popular vote in the last four presidential elections. Why would we mess with success?” Scott Brennan, a former Iowa Democratic Party chairman, asked this morning during a presentation in Washington, D.C..

The Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee began hearing presentations from 16 states and Puerto Rico yesterday.. All are competing to be among five “early” states to vote as the party selects its next presidential nominee. Jennifer Konfrst, the Democratic leader in the Iowa House, emphasized that Republican presidential candidates are already appearing in Iowa since the Republican National Committee has decided the Iowa GOP’s Caucuses will remain first.

“They’re building an organization on the other side and they are building enthusiasm and engagement among voters. That isn’t going to change,” Konfrst said. “The caucuses are a fundamental organizing tool that allow us to retain competitiveness in a part of rural America our party has already ceded in other states.”

National Democratic Party leaders have suggested it’s time to dislodge the caucuses from a lead-off role after Donald Trump easily won the state twice. Konfrst countered that three of the state’s four congressional districts are considered among the most competitive races in the country this year.

“What I hear a lot is that maybe Iowa Democrats are in the desert and I keep saying: ‘Well, if that’s true, I can still see the water, because it’s right there,’” Konfrst said. “2018 is when (Democrats) picked up six seat in the Iowa House. It’s not that far away and the Iowa Democratic Party is still organized, inspired and enthused.”

Konfrst told national party leaders Iowa election data still shows about one-third of registered voters are Republicans, a third are Democrats and a third are independents.