New Hampshire law secures the state’s treasured position for the past century in holding the first presidential primary election.
New Hampshire lawmakers appear to be ignoring calls to comply with the Democratic National Committee’s calendar for awarding the presidential nomination, which was changed because President Joe Biden was a loser in the 2020 contest.
“We still intend to have a presidential primary that will be first in the nation,” said New Hampshire Secretary of State David Scanlan. “Whether the president campaigns here or not is up to him.”
“Granite Staters appreciate and respect the responsibility of the over 100-year tradition of the First in the Nation New Hampshire primary,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party chair Ray Buckley. “They understand New Hampshire has a special place in the history of American politics and their place in it. We look forward to continuing that tradition here next year, and in the years to come.”
Democratic contender Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. responded to reports that New Hampshire Democrats will defy the national party by supporting their first in the nation primary status and lambasting his rival for trying to rig the election.
“I thoroughly support New Hampshire’s century-old status as the first primary state and the political culture that has grown up around it,” said Kennedy, one of three prominent Democrats seeking their party’s nomination for the White House.
The first state in the official calendar would be South Carolina — a state in which Biden has performed well, in contrast to his losing record in New Hampshire and Iowa.
Referring to that fact, Kennedy added, “Everyone knows the real reason the DNC made the change. The people of South Carolina didn’t ask for it. No, it is simply another undemocratic attempt to rig the primary process in favor of their anointed candidate, Joe Biden.”
“The DNC seems to have forgotten the purpose of the modern primary system to begin with, which was to replace backroom crony politics with a transparent democratic process,” said Kennedy.
Kennedy plans to keep campaigning in New Hampshire in defiance of the DNC’s scheme but he is also showing surprising strength in South Carolina.
“If the Biden campaign thinks they can win with administrative tricks and evasions, they will be in for a rude surprise in both New Hampshire and South Carolina,” Kennedy said.
New Hampshire has a law that sets the date it must hold the presidential primary, a week before any similar contest in the nation.
Republicans, who control New Hampshire’s governor’s office and both houses of the state legislature, have repeatedly asserted that they will not change their law to give Biden the advantage in a partisan nominating process.
When Marianne Williamson, the third Democratic 2024 presidential candidate, promoted her New Hampshire state director to campaign manager, she also endorsed the traditional order with a statement that said: “The decision to promote Carlos Cardona represents the campaign’s commitment to acknowledging precedent set in the Democratic primary season to allow the voters of the ‘first in the nation’ state to be heard.”
“The unusual situation is one of Biden’s own making, thanks to the new primary calendar the Democratic National Committee ratified at his behest in February, which seeks to demote Iowa and New Hampshire and prohibits candidates from campaigning — or even putting their name on the ballot — in a state that jumps the line,” said Alex Seitz-Wald in April. “The problem is that New Hampshire and Iowa, both of which Biden lost in 2020, plan to disregard the DNC and hold their contests first anyway, most likely forcing Biden to forfeit the first unofficial contests of 2024.”
Williamson and Kennedy have both indicated a willingness to accept any penalties for participating in the early contests since they’re running anti-establishment campaigns anyway.