After President Trump decided not to put his name on the primary ballot in New Hampshire, top Democrats there began a write-in campaign for Vice President Joe Biden on Monday.
The move is an attempt to save Biden from disgrace in New Hampshire, the first primary state historically. This comes after Minnesota Representative Dean Phillips stated in Concord last week that he will run against Biden for the candidature.
Veteran Democratic operatives and politicians like Jim Demers and Kathy Sullivan, a former state Democratic Party chair, are leading the write-in effort. Other prominent New Hampshire Democrats have also come out in support of this bill, including both current Democratic candidates for governor and both previous Democratic representatives, Paul Hodes and Carol Shea-Porter. In their papers to the FEC, the group identified themselves as “Granite State Write-In.”
In 2024, “the fate of our democracy itself hangs in the balance,” the campaign’s website states. To begin, we must back Joe Biden in the 2024 First in the Nation primary in New Hampshire.
There is no involvement from the Biden campaign or the state Democratic Party. The website doesn’t credit the state’s all-Democratic congressional delegation, which includes Representative Annie Kuster, Senator Maggie Hassan, and Senator Jeanne Shaheen, although Kuster has expressed her support for the initiative on social media.
Biden created the need for the write-in campaign when he retaliated against the president’s decision to remove New Hampshire as the first primary state. He and the Democratic National Committee moved South Carolina to the top of the list for 2024 instead of Iowa, a more homogeneous state that helped catapult Biden to the nomination in 2020.
But the Republican-controlled state legislature and the secretary of state who sets the primary date in New Hampshire refused to budge from the state’s legal requirement that its primary be held before any similar contest.
The consequence was a confrontation between national and state Democrats that lasted months and concluded last week when Biden decided not to run in New Hampshire’s primary election, which will likely be an unsanctioned race.
Democrats are using the space left by Biden in New Hampshire to boost their own long-shot campaigns. The most recent is Phillips, who on Friday in Concord officially started his primary campaign against Biden by promising to return New Hampshire to its lead-off status. Bill Shaheen, Shaheen’s husband, is assisting him.
Secretary of State David Scanlan of New Hampshire has “strongly” recommended that election authorities in the state bring in “additional help” to process what might be a huge number of write-in votes.
Scanlan recently told reporters at Saint Anselm College, “It’s going to be some extra work.” But I have no doubt that the municipalities will have no trouble gathering the volunteers and supplies they require to assist.
Scanlan deemed it a “mistake” that Biden would skip the primary in New Hampshire. Although the Democratic National Committee has threatened not to seat the state’s delegates, Scanlan said he expects underdog candidates who filed for the ballot, such as Phillips and self-help guru Marianne Williamson, to “campaign here, just to get the media attention.”