DNC Gives New Hampshire Democrats More Time to Make Changes
The Democratic National Committee has extended the deadline for New Hampshire Democrats to meet requirements set to stay in the top tier of presidential primaries in 2024.
The Rules and Bylaws committee has proposed a schedule which puts South Carolina first and New Hampshire third if the Granite State eliminates its state law requiring the presidential primary to hold the country's first primary, and to expand early voting options. The primary schedule change was made at the behest of President Joe Biden.
The New Hampshire Democratic Party failed to meet a January 5 deadline, calling it an impossibility given the Republican majority in the legislature and the governor's office.
Chairman Raymond Buckley said the state party is trying to find a solution that works for Biden and New Hampshire Democrats.
"That’s why our state and federal Democratic leaders have unanimously endorsed no-fault absentee voting, which will be getting a hearing next week in the State Senate," Buckley said in a statement.
The Hill reported that the committee met Wednesday night and voted to give both New Hampshire and Georgia until June to meet their requirements and postpone their vote on the 2024 schedule.
Members were also offended at the state party's pushback at the DNC requirements, and for making the disagreement public according to Politico.
“It does not help us. It doesn’t help the party ... to have this divisiveness and to share it in public,” said Lee Saunders, a member of the committee and a labor union president, according to the Politco report. “We should never talk like that within the DNC.”
SNHU Civic Scholar and founder of NH Political Capital Dean Spiliotes said the DNC shouldn't be surprised.
"Given the seriousness of the threat to the primary, the DNC shouldn't be surprised by NH going public. The delay won't change the situation regarding our state law," Spiliotes said.
"100 Year Privilege"
Member Leah Daughtry said as an African-American woman, she found it disturbing that the state is hanging its argument on a "100-year-old privilege."
Member Joanne Dowdell took New Hampshire's side and said the state party has clearly communicated that it is in a no-win situation. Dowdell also said that if Biden doesn't file for the New Hampshire primary, he would be in danger of losing it and create a distraction to his re-election campaign.
State party chairman Raymond Buckley reiterated that situation in response to the deadline extension.
“As we have repeatedly stated, the DNC’s requirements put the New Hampshire Democrats in a no-win position. New Hampshire Democrats cannot unilaterally change our state laws and our Republican Governor, Senate Majority Leader, and House Majority Leader have all rejected the DNC's demands to move the date of the primary," Buckley said.
While the DNC is concerned about the airing of its dirty laundry, Buckley said the state party is concerned about how the requirements will hurt state Democrats and President Biden in the 2024 primary, should he run for re-election.
"New Hampshire Republicans have already begun capitalizing on the move for the 2024 election cycle, when everything from the state legislature and governorship to the two battleground Congressional seats and presidency will be at stake," Buckley said. "We fear that if the president declines to campaign here that he will lose the first primary of 2024. We will continue to work with the DNC to avoid that outcome."
Trump Comes to New Hampshire
Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump is making his first public appearance in weeks at the state Republican annual meeting at Salem High School Saturday morning before heading to South Carolina for a rally. Spiliotes said Trump is using the ongoing debate about the primary to put himself back in the spotlight
"I think he's hearing a lot of chatter about how there's not much going on with his campaign. So part of it is I think he wants to start showing that he's active again," Spiliotes said. "It's an opportunity for Trump to be kind of in the middle of all that in a place where he's done well in the past."
One Republican who will not be at the meeting is Gov. Chris Sununu, according to the New York Sun. The state GOP told the Sun that Sununu was not planning to attend the general meeting even before the addition of Trump.
The governor's office said Sununu will be leaving Friday for the Alfalfa Club's annual dinner in Washington on Saturday night.