After clinging to its top perch for decades, New Hampshire is finally in danger of losing its first in the nation primary in 2024 — the victim of politics and Democratic diversity.
Top Democrats who are jealous of New Hampshire’s role say the Granite State is too small, too white and not reflective of the diversity that other states like Michigan and New Jersey have that are now competing to be first.
Not to mention that New Hampshire dealt a crushing blow to Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign, a fact that pro-Biden forces may use as incentive to drop the state from the top of the primary lineup.
DNC leadership voted last week to change the rules and make states apply for an early spot in the lineup, rather than use the traditional order of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.
A roster of powerful Democrats in other states argue that both Iowa, which holds a caucus, and New Hampshire, the first primary, are not inclusive enough to earn such a powerful voice in the presidential process.
“This is a powerful resolution of a thoughtful process that is going to be inclusive of all Democrats,” said Massachusetts’ Jim Roosevelt Jr., who co-chairs the Rules and Bylaws Committee.
“Why should two disparate small states that don’t reflect the diversity of this country be the ones that presidential candidates go into their homes?” asked U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell of Michigan.
According to the resolution, the demographic diversity of the state and the state’s competitiveness in the general election will now play major roles in how states are awarded early lineup spots.
It was a direct shot at Iowa and New Hampshire’s ballot supremacy and prompted a warning from state officials who noted that the Granite State by law has to have the first primary — regardless of party rules.
“When the time comes, we will follow New Hampshire’s law,” Secretary of State David Scanlan said.
The change in rules came as Biden prepares to return to New Hampshire on Tuesday, which may not be great timing for him.
The president is suffering his lowest approval ratings in history and faces pressure to do something about soaring inflation and gas prices.
He could also face uneasy questions about whether New Hampshire should stay first in the nation. If he says no, he can kiss any chance he has at being the comeback kid in the state.
Biden finished fourth in Iowa and a dismal 5th place in the Granite State in 2020. Bernie Sanders won the primary but Biden recovered when the contests headed to more diverse states like South Carolina.
This certainly isn’t the first time New Hampshire has faced a challenge to its ballot place supremacy — in fact, it happens regularly every four years.
The state has stubbornly held its ground — and won every time.
But could this time be different? And if New Hampshire goes ahead with its primary against DNC rules, will any candidates even show up?
There are no such questions when it comes to Republicans. The party has already decided to stick with New Hampshire as first in the nation primary and Iowa as the first caucus.
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