New Hampshire starts with the lead to first place on the Dems’ 2024 polling calendar

“I think there will be a lot of support for holding a primary New England and probably in New Hampshire,” said Tim Jerman, a DNC member from Vermont. “Who wants to start from scratch now to rebuild the wheel they’ve perfected?”

Massachusetts Democratic Party chairman Gus Bickford said “New Hampshire has an ally in Massachusetts,” while the Rhode Island Democratic Party also confirmed it would not apply for an early seat.

Factors tailored to New Hampshire’s favor may mean that the state that has long gone second – maintaining the nation’s first in post-election primaries in Iowa – starts in the best position to take advantage of a calendar shake-up.

But New Hampshire’s lack of racial diversity is a serious potential stumbling block for the state given the DNC’s rule committee’s priority on ensuring its early line-up is diverse – and criticism from both within and outside the party for increasing early state window racial diversity to reflect the party’s basic voters. The population of New Hampshire is 90 percent white, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. It has also been one of the reasons behind the pressure to remove Iowa, which is 85 percent white, from the beginning of the Democratic presidential calendar.

It’s one of the main factors that opens the door to Nevada, another early state lobbying for first place. Colored people make up the majority in Nevada, a state that also has the presence of a large union, and in 2021, Democrats changed their presidential race from a caucus to a primary election, a reflection of the party moving completely away from the caucus. And the Democratic-controlled Legislative Assembly has also implemented broad access to the ballot, while New Hampshire does not allow personal early voting or absent absentee voting.

In a letter to RBC members sent earlier this month and obtained by POLITICO, Nevada’s congressional delegation and governor urged the committee to “strongly regard Nevada as an early battle-torn state that represents the future of the Democratic Party and deserves to be the first. in Nation, “adding that” as a highly competitive battleground with strong union representation and one of the most diverse voters in the country, our state offers a real test of who can put together a winning coalition. “

Members of the rules committee have publicly said that a single state does not have to include all the criteria they have set. Instead, the composition of all four or five early states will cover these stated goals, so “if the problem is the diversity of the four states taken as a whole, rather than on a state-by-state basis, then New Hampshire has less of an issue related to diversity if Iowa is replaced by a more diverse state, ”said a member of the DNC’s rules committee, who gave anonymity to discuss the issue honestly.

Yet a Democratic operator in Nevada involved in the process claimed that “on the polls that the RBC said they would make the decision on – and diversity is the most important pillar – there is, without a doubt, no battle between the two. We also comes at the forefront of feasibility and competitiveness. “

“New Hampshire defends 100 years of tradition, so it requires Nevada to come up with a compelling argument as to why we should jump in front of them,” the source continued.

But tradition can also work in New Hampshire’s favor. Their early primary election is enshrined in state law, which requires them to go one week before all other primary presidential contests. “The Secretary of State has the flexibility to decide when the application period is and when the primary one is,” said former Democratic Gov. John Lynch.

“If that means we’ve holding Thanksgiving week, we have to do it,” Lynch said.

Another RBC member, who was given anonymity to speak honestly, acknowledged that “it would be a tough fight to remove them given their status.”

This is not the first time New Hampshire has worked aggressively to maintain its first primary status. In 2006, the New Hampshire Democrats threatened to move their primary date to the fall of 2007, ahead of the 2008 presidential primary if Nevada held its caucuses between Iowa and New Hampshire. In the end, Nevada kept its caucus after New Hampshire.

One of New Hampshire’s primary most loyal defenders, Bill Gardner, has recently retired from his longtime role as Secretary of State, but Lynch said Gardner will still “be there and give advice, and the office will still be a loyal defender.”

“The will is there to do that, as well as the law,” Lynch said. “I think no matter what happens nationally, New Hampshire will maintain its status.”

New Hampshire may also be more immune to sanctions from the DNC, which has used sitting delegates as a punishment against states that tried to jump over the line, such as Florida and Michigan in 2008. But New Hampshire’s influence has always been about timing, not timing. . delegated feature available there. The state has about 30 delegates compared to Florida, which has over 249 delegates.

“The New Hampshire argument is rooted in: No one can knock them to the bottom, and there is not much the DNC can do to stop them,” said a Democratic agent who has worked in New Hampshire’s politics.

However, it is not yet clear how the New Hampshire Republicans will react if the New Hampshire Democrats were to jump ahead of Iowa. The New Hampshire Republican Party did not respond to a request for comment.

New Hampshire defenders also point to the small size of the state as a factor in its favor, allowing for personal policy in living rooms and high school auditoriums. The cost-effectiveness of campaigning in a small state allows for little-known or particularly talented candidates – or both – to break out.

“The special thing about New Hampshire is that candidates have to listen to the voters on a one-to-one basis, and that helps them become a better candidate,” said Bill Shaheen, a DNC member from New Hampshire. “If it’s not broken, do not repair it, and that’s what it is with New Hampshire.”

New Hampshire Democratic Party chairman Ray Buckley warned against getting ahead of the DNC process. “We do not count our chickens, we do not even count our eggs,” he said. “We take our role very seriously and we are ready to have this conversation, both in public and in one-on-one conversations.”

Buckley can even give the New Hampshire Democrats another leg up. He has been chairman for 15 years, a term of office much longer than most state party chairmen.

When Buckley was asked about the state’s work to advocate for its position in the presidential nomination process, Buckley said that “many individuals put in a lot of work, and 99 percent of it is behind the scenes.”

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