New Hampshire’s Republican Secretary of State David Scanlan announced Wednesday that the state will be holding its first-in-the-nation primary on Jan. 23, defying the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC’s) plan to thwart the long-held tradition.
The DNC, with support from President Joe Biden, announced a new calendar in February that moved South Carolina to the top, pushing back New Hampshire’s primary and Iowa’s caucus. Though Iowa caved to the DNC in early October, Scanlan announced at the state House that New Hampshire would continue to hold its primary first, despite Biden’s name not appearing on the ballot.
“At stake is who gets to determine the nominee of the party? The elites on a national party committee, by controlling the nominating calendar, were the voters. New Hampshire believes the voters of each state should decide who they prefer as the nominee to be president — not power brokers in Washington, D.C.,” Scanlan said. “The date of the New Hampshire first-in-the-nation presidential primary will be Jan. 23, 2024 … That date complies with our state statute, requiring our presidential primary to be at least seven days before any similar event, and it preserves the position of the traditional Iowa caucus.”
Due to the DNC’s rules, Biden’s campaign notified the New Hampshire Democratic Party on Oct. 24 that it would not be participating in the state’s primary. Democratic Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota and self-help author Marianne Williamson will be the only candidates to have their names on the ballot, though a write-in campaign for Biden is already underway in the state.
An Emerson College survey released Wednesday found that 27% of Democratic primary voters planned on writing in Biden, while 15% supported Phillips and 10% backed Williamson. A plurality were undecided at 44% and 5% chose someone else.
Iowa’s Democratic Party announced that it will push back releasing the presidential caucus results until Super Tuesday on March 5, when over a dozen other dates will hold their nominating contests. The Democrats will still hold their in-person caucus on Jan. 15, along with the state GOP.
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