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What People Are Saying About the Importance of New Hampshire’s First-in-the-Nation Primary Spot


Boston Herald: New Hampshire must hold primary first, can’t comply with DNC proposal, state’s top Dems say Carl Leubsdorf (Dallas Morning News): New Hampshire unlikely to go quietly New York Magazine: New Hampshire Threatens Biden With Loss of Electoral Votes Excerpts Boston Herald: New Hampshire must hold primary first, can’t comply with DNC proposal, state’s top Dems say Ray Buckley, the chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, in a letter to DNC Chairman Jaime Harrison dated Tuesday, wrote that the Granite State’s Democratic party agrees with the concept behind the DNC’s plan.

“We share the (DNC’s) view that we must honor the diversity of the Democratic Party and center more diverse voices — specifically Black and Latino voters — in the process,” Buckley wrote.

However, Buckley continued, nothing needs to change to achieve the DNC’s goals.

“We are confident that the DNC’s proposal could have satisfied two important objectives: elevating the importance of Black voters and retaining New Hampshire’s status as the first in the nation primary,” he wrote.

“Keeping New Hampshire as the first in the nation state and increasing diversity aren’t mutually exclusive,” Hassan, a former New Hampshire governor, echoed Wednesday.

Carl Leubsdorf (Dallas Morning News): New Hampshire unlikely to go quietly

At the same time, however, its plan risks losing something that may be equally important in choosing a president: a place where both little-known hopefuls and well-known officeholders have to make their case to — and answer questions from — small, interested groups of voters.

Fortunately, New Hampshire politicians in both parties seem determined to enforce the state’s 1975 law that requires its primary to take place at least one week before any other. Its secretary of state, who sets the primary date, will almost certainly respect that requirement, even with the Democrats threatening loss of delegates and other sanctions.

Unfortunately, the national party is not only vowing to take away its delegates unless it scraps that 1975 law, but also to ban participating candidates from debates and refuse to recognize any pre-March 5 primary results. There would be no surer way to drive the closely contested Granite State into Republican hands.

But New Hampshire is unlikely to fold, and candidates are unlikely to stay away. Television networks control the primary debates, not the party.

Besides, the New Hampshire primary is not about winning delegates, it’s about gaining momentum by making the kind of showing that builds support in the bigger, delegate-rich states to come.

The GOP has already decided to keep both the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary. Republicans want to benefit from their growing strength in Iowa, just as recent Democratic defeats weakened their state party’s effort to stay first.

Of the five states Democrats tabbed for early voting, South Carolina, Nevada and Michigan seem likely to keep the dates the party panel assigned them. The Republicans running Georgia’s secretary of state office say they won’t let Democrats hold a primary several weeks before the GOP does.

New Hampshire’s primary date remains in doubt. Fortunately, the chances are good that, when the maneuvering ends and the law is applied, it will once again be the first place Democrats vote.

But New Hampshire has a weapon in the fight that Iowa doesn’t have: It’s a competitive state that can credibly threaten Biden and Democrats with the loss of its electoral votes. That became plain when the Granite State’s Democratic Party chairman Ray Buckley wrote a letter to the DNC suggesting the new primary calendar would impose an “undue burden” on it in fighting the 2024 general election:

The DNC is requiring New Hampshire’s Republican governor, Republican Senate Majority Leader and Republican House Majority to comply with Democrats’ demands to move the date of the primary. Already Republican Governor Chris Sununu has declared the proposal “dead on arrival.” Republican Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley echoed his sentiments, saying of the DNC’s request: “Not happening. Not happening at all.”

With these declarations, there is nothing the New Hampshire Democratic Party can do to comply with the DNC’s demands … Republicans are already blaming Democrats for losing New Hampshire’s First-in-the-Nation primary and touting Republicans as the only party that cares about Granite Staters.


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