ICYMI: Keep New Hampshire on the Presidential Calendar
In case you missed it, Walter Shapiro of the New Republic published a column highlighting why the DNC should keep New Hampshire first in the presidential primary calendar.
Read the full column here.
Later this week, a key committee of the Democratic National Committee is expected to decide the initial order of the 2024 presidential primaries.
Keeping New Hampshire as the first primary and simply adding a different Midwestern state later in the cycle would bequeath the Democrats a 2024 schedule that is diverse and representative of key constituencies, and gives outsider candidates (on the model of Jimmy Carter in 1976 and Pete Buttigieg in 2020) a chance to prove their mettle through personal campaigning rather than just expensive TV ads.
For all the griping about its monochromatic population, New Hampshire still offers a strong case as the kickoff state. The snows of New Hampshire have been the setting for long-shot candidates to break through and sometimes change history. The anti-war battalions that powered Eugene McCarthy’s challenge to Lyndon Johnson in 1968 helped convince LBJ not to seek another term. New Hampshire gave a scandal-scarred Bill Clinton a second chance in 1992 after he promised voters he’d be there for them “till the last dog dies.”
But beyond tradition, New Hampshire embodies a key element of the modern Democratic Party—independent, college-educated, socially liberal voters. The state is geographically compact (no candidate will ever need to charter a plane in New Hampshire), comparatively affordable (the Boston media market is smaller than that of New York or Philadelphia), and can count votes quickly in its high-turnout primary.