Democrats Go to Bat for NH’s First in the Nation Primary Status
In a letter to national Democratic National Committee chairman Jaime Harrison, New Hampshire Democratic Party chair Raymond Buckley says that the party has all but ensured the Granite State's erasure from the early primary schedule with the requirements it has set forth.
The Democratic National Committee Rules and Bylaws Committee wants the state party to submit signed letters by January 5, 2023, from Gov. Chris Sununu and the House and Senate majority leaders, promising they will eliminate the state law requiring New Hampshire's primary to be first. Buckley wrote that it will be impossible for state party to comply, and called their demands a "poison pill" for the primary.
"Already Republican Governor Chris Sununu 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,'" Buckley wrote in his four page letter.
The DNC will also require the state to expand early voting options. Buckley questioned why New Hampshire was the only state asked to change its voting laws.
Buckley is also concerned that the primary change will penalize residents and President Biden by imposing "arbitrary and unfair requirements" on them. It will also push independents away from the party and give Republicans a weapon against the party, according to Buckley.
Supporting Diverse Voting
A desire by Biden to have a more diverse primary vote is something Buckely agrees with, but believes New Hampshire can be part of the solution.
"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, which would safeguard a battleground state for Democrats and maintain an important process for our country. These did not need to be mutually exclusive," Buckley wrote.
NH's Even Playing Field
Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan appeared together on MSNBC's Morning Joe Wednesday morning to defend the state's first in the nation status. Hassan said the the DNC is telling the state party that it must break state law in order to comply with their demands.
"This is about making sure that when New Hampshire has its primary, Democrats are on the playing field in a purple state that has four very important electoral votes," Hassan said.
Shaheen stressed that the New Hampshire primary levels the playing field for all candidates, regardless of their name recognition or campaign war chest.