Based mostly on the GOP calendar, January 23 was the extensively anticipated date. The Iowa caucuses are simply over every week away on January 15, sufficient time for New Hampshire to take pleasure in a post-Iowa marketing campaign deluge. It’s greater than every week earlier than South Carolina’s Democratic major takes place on February 3, in step with a New Hampshire regulation that requires the Granite State’s major to be held every week earlier than any related contest. The South Carolina Republican major takes place on February 24.
President Joe Biden and prime Democrats needed South Carolina — a extra numerous state that propelled Biden to the nomination in 2020 — to be on the prime of their 2024 calendar. New Hampshire was imagined to vote in second place in a shared date with Nevada.
However Scanlan and different Republicans who management state authorities have lengthy mentioned they won’t yield to Democrats’ calls for.
“Utilizing racial range as a cudgel in an try and rearrange the presidential nomination calendar is an unpleasant course of,” Scanlan mentioned. “Variety isn’t the true concern at hand on this dialogue. At stake is who will decide the celebration’s nominee: the elites on the nationwide celebration committee with management of the nominating calendar, or the voters.
Biden didn’t put his title on the New Hampshire major poll in anticipation that the state would maintain an unsanctioned Democratic contest. His marketing campaign supervisor, Julie Chavez Rodriguez, wrote in a letter to state Democratic Get together Chairman Ray Buckley that whereas the president “desires to take part” within the major, he’s “obligated” to comply with the Democratic Nationwide Committee calendar he initiated. Biden’s allies within the state are actually working a write-in marketing campaign on his behalf.
But it surely’s nonetheless doable that Biden might lose the now unofficial early contest to a far-fetched candidate like Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) or Marianne Williamson, each of whom made the first poll and are campaigning within the state. A loss right here can be a humiliation for Biden on his method to a possible renomination. Based mostly on Democratic Get together guidelines handed final yr, the state might lose half its delegates if it holds an unauthorized major.
“Lots of people see this as an influence play by some,” Buckley mentioned in an interview, including that they’re “offended that Bernie Sanders did so nicely” within the final Democratic presidential major right here. The impartial Vermont senator received New Hampshire’s Democratic major in 2016 and 2020, whereas Biden completed fifth within the final cycle and fled the state for South Carolina earlier than the polls closed.
“Proper now nobody desires to confront the president,” Buckley mentioned. “I respect that. I do know that.”
One different consequence of Democrats transferring South Carolina to the highest: Scanlan is shifting the New Hampshire major to January after two rounds of voting in February. The 2020 presidential primaries happened on February 11. In 2016, it was February 9. However for 3 cycles earlier than that it was January.
Whereas many observers have lengthy anticipated January 23 to be the date, Scanlan’s announcement now offers the GOP a agency goal.
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who completed his marketing campaign that yr with a sixth-place end within the 2016 New Hampshire presidential major, informed reporters final week that working a pre-contest was not an issue.
“Nobody has been right here greater than me, so it by no means looks like I am working out of time to make an impression,” Christie mentioned after a city corridor assembly in Merrimack final week. “It is not like individuals in New Hampshire will not have sufficient time to have a look at me, whether or not (the first) is Jan. 23, Jan. 30, or Feb. 6.”
New Hampshire Republicans and Democrats are already getting ready to defend the state’s first major once more in 2028.
“If something, we have set a precedent of making an attempt as arduous as we will, doing it proper, and doing it one of the best,” Sununu mentioned. “Skip New Hampshire at your personal threat. Go ask Rudy Giuliani the way it labored out for him.”