New Hampshire will retain its status as the first-in-the-nation primary, following an announcement on Wednesday that it will hold both the Democratic and Republican primary elections in its state on January 23.
The Democratic National Committee, along with President Joe Biden, had demanded that New Hampshire give up that status, but officials in The Granite State officially rejected those demands this week.
Since 1920, New Hampshire has held the first primary election for every presidential election cycle. But, it’s more than just a symbolic form of pride for New Hampshire. State law actually requires New Hampshire to hold its presidential primary election one week at least before another state does so.
Last February, though, the DNC went ahead and approved for itself a new primary election calendar that would’ve seen South Carolina capture the first-in-the-nation status, with a Democratic primary there being held on February 3 of next year.
The DNC’s plan was to have both Nevada and New Hampshire hold their primary elections three days later, on February 6. Georgia would have been the fourth state, with its primary scheduled for February 10, and Michigan would have been the fifth, with its primary election scheduled for February 27.
Many far-left activists have been demanding that the DNC begin holding early voting primary elections in states that have a much more diverse population than New Hampshire and Iowa, which are predominantly White.
Iowa is set to hold Republican caucuses on January 15 as it usually does. While the state will also hold the Democratic caucuses in-person on the same day, it also came to a compromise with the DNC where it will allow people to vote by mail through March 5.
Officials from New Hampshire, though, weren’t interested in any compromise at all.
On Wednesday, Bill Scanlan, New Hampshire’s secretary of state, told reporters:
“Using racial diversity as a cudgel in an attempt to rearrange the presidential nominating calendar is an ugly precedent. At what point does a state become too old or too wealthy, or too educated or too religious to hold an early primary?”
Last time around, in 2020, Biden finished way back in fifth place. For his re-election campaign this year, he didn’t even file so that his name could be placed on the New Hampshire ballot. That falls in line with the guidelines that the DNC set.
That has created an opportunity for challengers such as Representative Dean Phillips from Minnesota, who has plans to conduct a huge campaign in New Hampshire, hoping to shock the world and upset Biden, akin to what happened in 1968.
That year, Democratic Senator Gene McCarthy had a strong showing and finished in second place, which led to Democratic President Lyndon Johnson deciding not to seek re-election.
Scanlan concluded his comments about New Hampshire’s decision on the primary by saying:
“At stake is who gets to determine the nominee of the party: the elites on a national party committee by controlling the nominating calendar or 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.”