President Joe Biden is poised to sacrifice New Hampshire’s iconic first-in-the-nation primary to a challenger after snubbing the state in the calendar he pushed on the Democratic National Committee.
The schedule Biden proposed, which the DNC accepted and ratified on his orders, demotes Iowa and New Hampshire in favor of starting the primary season with South Carolina.
It also prohibits candidates from campaigning in – or putting their name on the ballot – in states that choose to skip the line.
Yet both Iowa and New Hampshire said they would disregard the DNC and host their primaries according to state laws.
New Hampshire’s law specifies the primary date must be at least seven days before any other state’s primary. Iowa similarly demands its caucus take place “not later than the fourth Monday in February”.
As a result, Biden will almost certainly lose the state, and the optics of the first primary, to either Marianne Williamson or Robert Kennedy Jr, despite both being considered fringe candidates.
New Hampshire Snubbed
The reaction to Biden’s schedule in New Hampshire was anything but accepted.
Democrats in the state warned the president that his changes could be catastrophic and reverse decades of effort to turn the state purple.
The New Hampshire delegation of Democrat lawmakers even made a personal appeal to Biden before he announced the changes.
“The delegation spoke with the president, he listened to what we had to say and then he submitted a proposal to the rules and bylaws committee that totally disregarded it,” Senator Jeanne Shaheen told reporters.
Shaheen and fellow Democratic Senator Maggie Hassan skipped the White House congressional ball in protest.
Biden attempted to portray the move as one of inclusion, saying black voters are “the backbone of the Democratic Party but have been pushed to the back of the early primary process”, hence his decision to bump New Hampshire for South Carolina and move Michigan and Georgia to the third day.
But that excuse generated skepticism in New Hampshire.
Neil Levesque, head of the nonpartisan New Hampshire Institute of Politics, balked, “This is the most outrageous maneuver, and so blatantly transparent. It really shows what the president’s true colors are.”