Biden prevails with write-in campaign in unofficial New Hampshire Democratic primary despite not appearing on ballot

 January 24, 2024

Due to a dispute between the Democratic National Committee and New Hampshire on the reordering of state primary elections, President Joe Biden was not registered as an official candidate on the ballot of the Granite State's first-in-the-nation primary election on Tuesday.

Yet, thanks to a volunteer-led statewide write-in campaign, the president nonetheless emerged as the clear victor over his Democratic challengers, according to the BBC.

The victory was just symbolic and mattered only in terms of avoiding an embarrassing defeat, however, as the DNC punished New Hampshire and stripped the state of its nominating delegates in response to the state's insistence that its primary election be held before any states.

Biden's New Hampshire write-in campaign

In 2023, and for explicitly racial reasons, the DNC -- with President Biden's approval -- broke with tradition and pushed predominately white Iowa and New Hampshire out of their traditional first slots in the primary election season in favor of more racially diverse states like South Carolina and Nevada.

But New Hampshire refused to relinquish the first-in-the-nation spot it has held for a century, in large part because of a state law that requires its primary election to be held before any other state.

As a result, the DNC stripped New Hampshire of its delegates and refused to sanction its election, which resulted in Biden not registering to appear on the ballot or even campaigning in the state, which in turn prompted the volunteer-led write-in campaign over concerns that the incumbent president might not win the otherwise meaningless election he didn't even attempt to run in.

Both Biden and Trump emerge as big winners

That write-in campaign proved quite successful, according to NPR, as with more than 94% of precincts in the state reporting results, Biden prevailed with 55.1% of the vote compared to 19.6% for Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN) and 4.6% for self-help author Marianne Williamson.

Biden's total share of the votes will likely rise further as the final precinct results come in, as there remains an additional 10.8% of the ballots that are unprocessed write-ins, of which the vast majority will likely go to the president.

Meanwhile, without any similar dispute over the election schedule, the New Hampshire Republican primary was also held on Tuesday and, according to NBC News, former President Trump won that contest rather decisively over his only remaining major challenger, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, 54.4% to 43.3%.

Biden camp wastes no time in trashing Trump after New Hampshire

Even though the 2024 primary season has only just begun, the New Hampshire results for both parties appear to be indicative of what the end result will be -- a rematch of the 2020 election between Biden and Trump, and the Biden camp wasted no time in appearing to shift to general election footing.

NPR reported that Biden issued a statement Tuesday night in which he expressed his gratitude toward "all those who wrote my name in this evening in New Hampshire. It was a historic demonstration of commitment to our democratic process."

"It is now clear that Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee. And my message to the country is the stakes could not be higher," he added.

Likewise, Politico reported that Biden campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez, in a statement that completely ignored the unofficial Democratic election in New Hampshire, said, "Tonight’s results confirm Donald Trump has all but locked up the GOP nomination."

She added, "While we work toward November 2024, one thing is increasingly clear today: Donald Trump is headed straight into a general election matchup where he’ll face the only person to have ever beaten him at the ballot box: Joe Biden."

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