More Time for New Hampshire Democrats to Meet DNC Primary Deadline?
The Democratic National Committee could give New Hampshire more time to make the changes to state voting laws the state party says it is impossible to do.
Thursday was the deadline for the New Hampshire Democratic Party to commit to a plan to eliminate state law requiring the presidential primary to be the country's first, and to expand early voting options.
In his response to the deadline passing without an agreement, Gov. Chris Sununu said it's the one of the rare times where both the GOP and Democrats are on the same side of an issue.
"The NH State Democrat Party, The NH State Republican Party, The Democrat led Federal Delegation and the Republican Governor, House and Senate all stand together pushing back on this attempt to erode such an important process. It's as strong of a bipartisan message as you've ever seen in New Hampshire," Sununu wrote in a letter to Senate Democratic Leader Donna Soucy.
Poll: NH Voters Want Primary to Stay First
A Granite State Poll conducted by the UNH Survey Center taken in December and released Thursday shows 65% of New Hampshire residents also back the state law. 29% are neutral on the matter and 5% are opposed to the law.
43% of New Hampshire residents say it is very important to them that New Hampshire hold the first presidential primary. 19% call it somewhat important, 21% not very important and 16% not important at all.
The DNC plan was rejected in the poll by 67% in the poll who oppose the plan, and 58% who would be upset if it were adopted, moving the primary behind South Carolina's in 2024.
Early voting is supported by 51% in the poll, including 94% of Democrats. 64% of Republicans oppose a change to state voting law.
Mission: Impossible for NH Dems to Make Changes
In the state party's official response chair Raymond Buckley reiterated earlier messages from the congressional delegation and state Democratic Senate leader Donna Soucy that it is impossible for the minority political party to make those changes.
"Put simply: the DNC’s waiver requirement is unrealistic and unattainable, as the New Hampshire Democratic Party cannot dictate to the Republican governor and state legislative leaders what to do, and because it does not have the power to change the primary date unilaterally," Buckley wrote.
Democrats also run into a roadblock when it comes to expanding voting options
“New Hampshire Republicans, who control the governorship and both houses in the state legislature, have repeatedly shown their hostility to expanding voting laws," Buckley wrote.
He did meet one demand of the DNC in lowering the fee for the voter file from $100,000 per candidate to $10,000.
More Time to Comply?
The DNC, which is scheduled to take its final vote on the 2024 presidential primary schedule, may give New Hampshire and Georgia more time, according to a memo obtained by CNN. Georgia also failed to meet the DNC imposed deadline for changes.
“We expected both the New Hampshire and Georgia efforts to be complicated but well worth the effort if we can get them done. We remain committed to doing all we can to see our plan through," rules committee co-chairs Jim Roosevelt and Minyon Moore wrote to the rest of the committee.
The two said they are still committed to the approval of the schedule, which would move New Hampshire's presidential primary three days after South Carolina's if their requirements are met.
Still a No From NH Republicans
In a strongly-worded letter to Soucy, Gov. Chris Sununu said New Hampshire Republicans won't meet the DNC's demands anytime soon.
"You can try to come and take it - but that is Never. Going. To. Happen. It's just not in our DNA to take orders from Washington," Sununu wrote. "We will not be blackmailed. We will not be threatened, and we will not give up. You see - the New Hampshire Primary has stood the test of time, giving everyone a fair shot."
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH