« There’s a little bit of space between us and the people in the state on this, » Minyon Moore, co-chair of the Rules and Bylaws Committee, said at Friday’s meeting in Minneapolis. “But as we’ve always said, the president wants New Hampshire in the first state formation. And this committee has long agreed that this is a critical state and should be part of the mix. »
But even though the committee gave New Hampshire three more months to line up, there was little reason to expect an amicable resolution.
Biden pushed for changes to the party’s 2024 presidential nomination calendar that stripped New Hampshire of its nationwide primary in an effort to reward South Carolina, which pushed him to the nomination in 2020. Under the plan the DNC, New Hampshire would finish second, in a shared fixture with Nevada.
But New Hampshire state law requires the first primary to be held one week before any other similar contest. And the Republicans who control the governor’s office and the state legislature aren’t willing to change that. Nor are they willing to push through other voting law changes that the DNC requires for states in the early window for 2024.
So on Friday, Democrats were really buying themselves more time to decide whether and how to sanction New Hampshire’s Democrats if — and, most likely, when — the state goes rogue and holds the first primary anyway. Under sanctions approved by the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee last year, the state could lose half of its delegates if it disrupts the party’s calendar. But there was no mention of penalties during the brief New Hampshire rules committee discussion on Friday.
New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley did not comment on the latest extension other than saying he looks forward to hearing from the DNC.
Biden is unlikely to appear on the ballot if New Hampshire goes first, creating an awkward situation in which the president could lose an early unofficial contest to Robert F. Kennedy Jr. or Marianne Williamson, both of whom have indicated they are planning to compete in New Hampshire regardless of its status or sanctions. But Democrats could run a write-in campaign for Biden, to help him avoid an initial embarrassment on the road to his inevitable renomination.
The president isn’t already getting the 2024 primary calendar he wants. Biden’s initial proposal called for South Carolina on February 6, New Hampshire and Nevada on February 13, Georgia on February 20, and then Michigan on February 27. presidential primaries for March 12 – after Super Tuesday.
And Iowa continues to give a headache to Democrats trying to knock the state out of the early nomination window. Iowa Democrats presented a plan for a « reimagined » caucus system that would allow people to join by mail. But the rules and regulation committee on Friday rejected that plan, sending Iowa back to the drawing board.
Holly Otterbein contributed to this report.