CONCORD, NH – President Biden’s changes to the 2024 presidential primary calendar are leading to a battle for New Hampshire’s prized, generation-old position as the nation’s first presidential primary state.
“New Hampshire has a law that says we go at least seven days before any similar event,” New Hampshire Secretary of State Dave Scanlan told Fox News Digital in his Statehouse office.
Scanlan was firm that “the Secretary of State has scheduled the date of the first-in-the-nation primary in New Hampshire.”
New Hampshire holds its first primary on both the Democratic and Republican nomination calendars in a century. And in the last 50 years it has been held as the second overall contest, after the Iowa caucuses. While the Republican National Committee kept their order as is – with Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada as their first four states to vote on the schedule – the Democrats earlier this year raised the lineup.
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The Democratic National Committee in early February overwhelmingly approved a plan by President Biden to move New Hampshire to the primary schedule. New Hampshire will vote second on the DNC calendar, along with Nevada, three days after South Carolina. The DNC has moved Iowa entirely out of its early voting lineup — or carving out states — ahead of nominating contests in the rest of the country.
Many Democrats for years have knocked Iowa and New Hampshire as unrepresentative of the party as a whole, because they are predominantly White with few large urban areas. Nevada and South Carolina, which in recent cycles have voted third and fourth on the calendar, are more diverse than Iowa or New Hampshire.
The DNC emphasized that its push to dramatically change the top of the presidential nominating calendar for the 2024 election cycle is a move to give more representation at the top of the schedule to Black and Hispanic voters in one parties that have become increasingly diverse in recent decades. And the president and supporters of the new nominee calendar argue that it will empower minority voters that Democrats have long relied on but sometimes neglected.
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“This committee put together a calendar proposal that reflects our values and will strengthen our party. This calendar does what has been going on for a long time. It expands the number of voices in the early window. And it raises the diverse communities that are at the core of the Democratic Party,” DNC chair Jaime Harrison said earlier this year.
But New Hampshire Democrats are fighting hard to keep their primary position. Longtime New Hampshire Democratic Party chair Ray Buckley called the DNC’s move “mind-boggling” and a “self-inflicted wound” that could hurt Democratic candidates’ chances in 2024 in the key north- eastern part of the general election battleground.
The DNC insists that New Hampshire, in order to maintain its early voting slot in the new calendar, must repeal a decades-old state law that protects the nation’s first primary status and must expand the law to early access will be expanded. voting. But with Republicans in control of the New Hampshire governor’s office and both houses of the state legislature, Granite State Democrats argue that’s a non-starter.
The DNC a month ago gave New Hampshire an extension to comply, but just kicked the can down the road. The national party’s Rules and Bylaws Committee is expected to find the state out of compliance later this summer or early fall.
Enter Scanlan, who will follow state law as he schedules the primary date.
“If South Carolina is scheduled to be the first primary, it will be at least seven days before that,” Scanlan said.
The New Hampshire primary date could be moved to late January.
As for his timetable, Scanlan said that “we’ll schedule the filing period, which will happen this fall, and after that I hope to announce the primary date. But, we’ll just see developments as they happen and make decisions based on what happens. We still have a lot of time in this process.”
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With New Hampshire almost certain to move the date of their contest, President Biden is likely to stay on the ballot in New Hampshire to avoid an unsanctioned primary. And in two of Biden’s primary challenges — environmental lawyer and high-profile vaccine skeptic Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and best-selling author and spiritual counselor Marianne Williamson — targeting the president and the DNC as they back-and-forth campaigned in New Hampshire, could be the trouble. will be beer for the president of the main Granite State.
“President Biden will not file for election in the New Hampshire primary, which will be early,” Buckley predicted earlier this year. “This will put him, we believe, for an embarrassing situation where the first primary of the country will be won by someone who is not the president.
While he is the front-runner in the polls for the Democratic presidential nomination, the 80-year-old Biden has faced many concerns from Democrats about his age and physical and mental fitness and the his approval ratings among all Americans have remained in negative territory for nearly two years.
But most Democrats argue any potential setbacks in the no-holds-barred races in New Hampshire or Iowa won’t derail Biden’s widely expected renomination.
“The Democratic primary for the re-election of a president is not really about any state. It’s about the opportunity to express how the President has provided for the American people with policies that put families first of the working and middle class,” the veteran Democratic strategist. Maria Cardona told Fox News.
Cardona, a member of the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee, argued that “the Democratic Party has adopted a primary calendar that reflects the country and gives all communities a strong voice and vote. President Biden will run away with this primary and become our party’s nominee and then go to a second term in the White House. And that’s nothing to be ashamed of.”
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Back in New Hampshire, Scanlan said the primary battle had a unifying effect by transcending the state’s increasingly bitter partisan politics.
“This is a battleground state and our state House of Representatives is now almost evenly split between Republicans and Democrats,” said Scanlan, a Republican who succeeded longtime Democratic Secretary of State Bill Gardner. “It’s polarized. And we have some great debates based on political ideology, but I can tell you that there is one issue where the state is united – the Republicans and Democrats – and that’s the first in the state of the state of New Hampshire. . . .