Unprecedented tensions are soaring as New Hampshire's Secretary of State, Dave Scanlan, prepares to set the stage for an escalating conflict with the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
Scanlan's expected announcement of the state's 2024 presidential primary date on November 16, 2023, risks defying the DNC's newly approved calendar and deepening the rift between New Hampshire and the DNC.
Scanlan's expected declaration of January 23, 2024, as the primary date positions New Hampshire out of compliance with the DNC's calendar that has South Carolina voting first on February 3. This defiance carries significant repercussions, including the state losing half its delegates and President Biden's name being omitted from the ballot.
In response to this potential noncompliance, New Hampshire Democrats have initiated a write-in campaign for Biden. However, Republican Governor Chris Sununu has been vocal in his criticism of both Biden and the DNC for their efforts to modify the traditional calendar.
The DNC's decision to place South Carolina first was to enhance diversity in the primary process, following criticisms of Iowa and New Hampshire as unrepresentative.
Amid this controversy, New Hampshire's law stands firm, requiring the state to hold its primary seven days before any other similar contest. Democratic leaders in the state argue that this approach supports retail politics and benefits the candidates. The filing period dates set by Scanlan in September already pointed towards a January 23 primary date.
The DNC Rules Committee has already ruled New Hampshire conditionally noncompliant. President Biden is challenging New Hampshire's law to protect the 'first in the nation' status. This is a significant move considering Biden's disappointing performance in the 2020 Iowa and New Hampshire contests.
There are concerns that Biden's absence from the ballot could lead to a setback for the New Hampshire ballot, with two Democratic challengers confirmed to be on the ballot. Buckley, a New Hampshire Democrat, defended the state's primary process earlier this year, arguing that it prioritizes retail politics.
"For more than 100 years, presidential candidates of both parties have come to the Granite State to start their campaigns because they know how seriously we take our primary. New Hampshire is one of the last places where retail politics reigns. It's not about TV ads or paid mail, it's about one-on-one conversations and building an operation that connects with people where they are."
New Hampshire has held the first presidential primary in over a century. Earlier in 2023, the DNC approved a new calendar with South Carolina going first on February 3, which represents a significant shift in the traditional order of primaries. Scanlan's official announcement on November 16, 2023, will either uphold New Hampshire's long-standing tradition or mark a pivotal moment in its political history.
The January 23 date puts New Hampshire out of compliance with the DNC calendar, consequently risking sanctions from the DNC for holding an unsanctioned primary. The South Carolina primary is scheduled for February 3, 2024, as the first contest.
The escalating conflict between New Hampshire and the DNC is a developing story, the outcome of which will likely have far-reaching implications for the Democratic Party and its 2024 presidential election strategies.