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.

Iowa Democrats, as outlined for Iowa media a few weeks ago, are proposing dramatic changes for the 2024 Iowa Caucuses, using mail-in voting in the weeks ahead of Caucus Night and the winner announced that evening. Iowa Democratic Party chairman Ross Wilburn said that means precinct leaders will no longer have to count heads in the room and “use complex mathematical formulas” to determine which candidates get how many delegates.

“No more ‘Caucus Math,'” he said.

Brennan told committee members a mail-in process to indicate presidential preferences was used in Nevada, North Dakota and Hawaii in 2020.

“It can be done and we can do it very well,” Brennan said.

Democratic National Committee member Mo Elleithee in January suggested Iowa’s Caucuses didn’t meet the list of standards party leaders are looking for in a state that kicks-off the presidential campaign, but he’s praising these proposed revisions.

“Thank you for a very impressive and compelling presentation today,” he said, “and I applaud your willingness to make some necessary changes, so my huge tip of the hat to you.”

Frank Leone, another member of the Democratic National Committee, was in Iowa to observe the 2020 caucuses. “Caucuses are really no longer consistent with the democratic processes as we envision things,” he said.

Other members of the committee suggested if New Hampshire retains the first primary, it would consider the new Iowa Caucus process very similar to their primary. New Hampshire also has a state law requiring it to hold the nation’s first presidential primary. Brennan pointed out Iowa law requires both major parties to hold Caucuses eight days before any other state votes.

“We have laid out a proposal that meets the spirit and the intent of Iowa law and with our expanded non-present participation process, we believe it complies with the strictures that this committee has looked at,” Brennan said, “and we intend to remain first.”

A final decision from the national Democratic Party is expected in August. Republicans have already set their 2024 calendar and the Iowa GOP’s Caucuses remain first.