President Joe Biden has made a bold and unprecedented move by not appearing on the ballot of the New Hampshire primary, the first-in-the-nation contest that has been a crucial and symbolic part of the presidential nomination process for more than a century.
Biden’s decision is a result of his disagreement with the Democratic National Committee (DNC) over the order of the primary calendar, and his preference for South Carolina to be the first state to vote. Biden’s no-show in New Hampshire reflects his confidence and defiance in the 2024 election, as he plays by his own rules and challenges the norms and expectations of the political system.
The Background and Context of the No-Show
Biden’s no-show in New Hampshire is rooted in his dissatisfaction and frustration with the traditional role and influence of the state in the presidential nomination process. Biden, who has never won the New Hampshire primary in his previous three presidential bids, has argued that the state is not representative of the diversity and demographics of the Democratic Party and the nation, and that it gives an unfair advantage to candidates from neighboring states, such as Massachusetts and Vermont.
Biden has also claimed that the state is too small and too white to reflect the views and values of the majority of Americans.
Biden has advocated for a change in the primary calendar, where South Carolina, a state with a large and loyal African American electorate, would be the first to vote, followed by Nevada, a state with a significant Latino population. Biden has said that these states are more reflective of the Democratic Party and the nation, and that they would give a more accurate and fair picture of the candidates’ electability and appeal. Biden has also said that these states are more important and strategic for the general election, as they are part of the key battleground regions of the South and the West.
Biden’s proposal was endorsed and adopted by the DNC, which announced in June 2023 that South Carolina would be the first-in-the-nation primary on February 3, 2024, followed by Nevada on February 6. However, New Hampshire, which has a state law that requires it to hold its primary at least seven days before any similar election, refused to comply with the DNC’s decision and insisted on maintaining its first-in-the-nation status. New Hampshire’s Secretary of State, David Scanlan, a Republican, set the date of the state’s primary on January 23, 2024, in violation of the DNC’s rules.
The Consequences and Ramifications of the No-Show
Biden’s no-show in New Hampshire has significant consequences and ramifications for the 2024 election, as well as for the future of the primary system and the Democratic Party. Biden’s no-show means that he will not be eligible to receive any delegates from the state, which are awarded based on the proportion of votes that each candidate receives.
The DNC has also declared that the New Hampshire primary is “meaningless” and that it will not recognize or certify its results. Biden’s no-show also means that he will not be able to participate in any debates, forums, or events that are held in the state, which are usually important platforms for the candidates to showcase their policies, personalities, and skills.
Biden’s no-show also has implications for the other candidates who are running against him, as well as for the voters and the media who are following the election. Biden’s no-show gives an opportunity for his rivals, such as former President Donald Trump, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, and Minnesota Representative Dean Phillips, to gain more attention and support in the state, and to challenge Biden’s leadership and legitimacy.
Biden’s no-show also creates confusion and uncertainty for the voters and the media, who are used to seeing and hearing from the candidates in the state, and who may question Biden’s commitment and respect for the state and its traditions.
Biden’s no-show also raises questions and debates about the future and the reform of the primary system and the Democratic Party, as it exposes the tensions and divisions within the party and the nation over the role and influence of different states and regions in the nomination process.
Biden’s no-show also challenges the norms and expectations of the political system, as it shows that he is willing to play by his own rules and to defy the conventions and customs that have been established for decades.