N.H. goes rogue, maintaining first-in-nation primary state status

N.H. goes rogue, maintaining first-in-nation primary state status

This year, N.H. has “gone rogue” defying the Democratic National Committee (DNC), instead maintaining our spot as the first-in-nation primary, a position we have held for over 123 years, following long-held N.H. law to hold our primary on Jan 23.

The DNC announced earlier this year that S.C. would be taking N.H.’s role as the first-in-nation to vote, spreading outrage all through N.H. People were, as The New York Times put it, “kicking and screaming,” as other states celebrated what they consider such a long overdue change.

In response to N.H.’s decision to not comply, the DNC has decided to revoke N.H.’s delegates and President Biden has declined to register on the primary ballot in N.H., sparking outrage among democrats throughout the state.

Considering the almost hostility that other states have directed towards New Hampshire, and members of our legislature, it really isn’t a surprise that we have dug in our heels. The continued back and forth and growing tensions will only continue the prevention of any attempt to reach any kind of satisfactory resolution.

The fact that other states and the DNC seem to imply that N.H. is ridiculous because we are upset that they are trying to take a position from us that we have held for over a century is almost nonsensical. Considering that we all know any states would be having the same reaction as N.H. is currently having if the roles were reversed makes their supposed surprise even more upsetting.

For over a century, N.H. has played a big role in presidential elections, often dubbed a bellwether state as to where the winds will go and who shall end up with the prized seat at the President’s desk in the Oval Office. It has done that with great success over the years, often showcasing the true opinions of the general American populace and the strengths and weaknesses of candidates.

In N.H., a culture has been built around voting, having not dropped out of the top 10 states in terms of percentage of voter turnout in over 30 years, and has held third place since 2008. I remember talking with friends excitedly about voting when I was in elementary school, going with my parents to the school gym to vote, and the excitement when someone gave me and my sisters “I voted” stickers, even if I was too young to truly understand everything.

New Hampshirites have taken pride in volunteering their time to vet future candidates, regardless of the money they hold or the power behind their name. The only requirement for those who are members of a registered political party to get on the ballot is to pay $1000, or if you’re running as an independent to get 3,000 signatures and pay $250.

Even just this year N.H. has given a stage through its Lesser-Known Candidate Forum to candidates such as Paperboy Love Prince, and N.H. fan favorite Vermin Supreme.

We are known for getting up close and personal with candidates, forcing them to interact with us personally, stripping them of the glitz and glamor, of magnanimous speeches on bedazzled stages with prewritten quips and jokes.

No well-thought-out and pre-planned responses. Just making sure they show who they truly are as people. Turning idols into people, and people into idols.

N.H. as a swing state also does not have any particular bias towards any particular party, allowing those of any party, origin, or creed a fair shot to prove themselves to voters and present their case.

It has also become a fun tradition in N.H. to put candidates to the test with our winter weather, seeing if they can stand the cold.

N.H. and Iowa’s frigid weather has created many memorable moments, such as one in 2016 when Republican presidential candidate John Kasich engaged in a snowball fight with members of his staff and reporters after speaking in Hollis, N.H.

However many say that pushing N.H. and Iowa down to the totem pole is something long overdue in favor of a more diverse electorate such as Ed Kilgore a political columnist from the Intelligencer in his article, Biden Should Shut Down the Rogue New Hampshire Primary, who called the ongoing competition among democratic candidates here in N.H. “phony” while advising Biden to attempt to put an end to the ongoing write in campaign by democrat supporters.

“I love political traditions as much as any member of the chattering classes,” said Kilgore. “That includes the hoary and slightly ridiculous traditions of the first-in-the-nation caucus in Iowa and primary in New Hampshire. So when Joe Biden and the Democratic National Committee displaced those two events from the beginning of the presidential nominating contest (even as Republicans maintained them), I was mildly sad. But the logic of letting other states and regions of the country, particularly those with more racially diverse electorates, take the lead for once seemed highly compelling.”

92.6% of the population in N.H. is White, while the average for the United States as a whole is 75.5% – a 17.1% difference. They argue that a state that more accurately reflects the demographics of the United States as a whole would be a better choice to host the first-in-the-nation primary.

However, even if that is the case, the choice of S.C. to replace N.H. has caused controversy considering that the choice was made due to a recommendation by President Biden. Many New Hampshirites feel that this choice was made more as an attempt to reward S.C. and punish N.H. for Biden’s less-than-satisfactory performance in our state.

Of course, though the DNC’s official reason for this change was that they were aiming to make the primaries more democratic, according to the chair of the DNC, Jaime Harrison.

“This calendar does what is long overdue,” said Harrison. “It puts Black voters at the front of the process in S.C.. It keeps Nevada, where Latinos have been building power … and it adds Michigan, the heartland, where unions built the middle class of this nation. And Georgia, the forefront of the new South.”

“Democratic Party looks like America,” said Harrison. “and so does this proposal.”

However, demographics aren’t everything, and such a suggestion that any party or state is more American than the other is a slippery slope. Never mind how insulting that is to residents of N.H. by implying that due to the demographics of their state, they are any less American than any other state.

Even though many N.H. Democrats feel slighted and attacked by this decision, but they have decided to put these feelings aside and have begun a grassroots campaign to get voters to write in President Biden’s name on the ballot; showing how N.H. has put the good of the country over that which would benefit their own state.

One thing that the DNC seems to be forgetting is who is responsible for today’s primaries. It was here in this state that the primary went from a ballot filled with names of politically active locals who wanted to become their state’s delegates, to the convention back in 1948 when primaries were still far and few between. Richard F. Upton, speaker of the N.H. House of Representatives, changed primaries forever by allowing citizens to vote on candidates directly.

This new law would immediately show the strength it gave voters in N.H. in the very next election where his loss in our state convinced President Truman to step down and not run for a second term as discontentment around the Vietnam War grew.

It was here in N.H. that Eisenhower got the final push towards deciding to go all in on his run for president. It was LBJ’s weak victory that influenced his decision to drop out of the presidential race. It was here in N.H. that Jimmy Carter gained the attention that would launch him into the Oval Office.

The modern primaries that have become such an important part event, wouldn’t exist without our state’s proactivity to be active in our voting. While a century ago, primaries were compared to beauty contests, now thanks to N.H. they are an important test of a person’s strength as a candidate, and that is showing once again here. Already Biden’s refusal to register here on the ballot in N.H. has started to show the cracks in his campaign.

In response to his decision not to register, Dean Phillips, a congressman from Minnesota has stepped up to the plate, presenting himself as an alternative candidate. He has thrown in his lot with N.H. and its “rogue primary” even as he and other lesser-known candidates on the N.H. primary ballots have had their registrations in other states denied as a result.

Phillips has already started to make an impact here in N.H., and a potentially strong performance from him despite the efforts of well-known democrats here in N.H. such as Jean Shaheene to get voters to write in President Biden’s name on the ballot could cause ramifications for the already tumultuous Biden campaign highlighting its shortcomings and weakness.

N.H. shall continue in the tradition of the primary that they created and will continue to put the strength of those who aspire to the presidency to the test as we always have, regardless of the attempts of the DNC to strip N.H. of that role.

When you go to court for a crime, you don’t get to pick your judge, you can’t just decide to pick a new judge that you know likes you after one decides that you’re guilty. And neither can the DNC in the court of public opinion. Just because they don’t like the judgment of N.H. voters, doesn’t mean they can change their judge.

View Comments (3)
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Arianna Conomacos
Arianna Conomacos, Opinions Editor
As Arianna Conomacos's first year on the editorial board, she is excited to help young beginning journalists and to help spread awareness on all the going ons of the school. Arianna has been a member of the Lancer Marching band since her freshmen year as a flute and piccolo player. She has been playing the flute for over a decade. She has been writing stories even before since she could write and can almost always be seen with a book. Known for her outspokenness in her opinions, you can almost always find her somewhere around school.

Comments (3)

The Lancer Spirit editorial board welcomes your comments. We reserve the right to delete/edit comments that contain the following: Off-topic statements or links, abusive content, vulgarity, poor grammar, personal attacks or spam.
All Lancer Spirit Online Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • P

    Penny Sampson
    Mar 19, 2024 at 8:26 pm


  • D

    Denis Mailloux
    Mar 19, 2024 at 4:35 pm

    If I were this student’s high school English or composition teacher, and didn’t know her, I would wonder, at least at first, if the entire piece had not been lifted from another writer. My reason for saying that is that the entire piece is unified in terms of its style and structure. It’s not just the elevated vocabulary. It’s about how the ideas are structured and relate to each other. Each paragraph is superbly written, and the entire piece is structured in a very cohesive fashion. Furthermore, she presents complex ideas in a very accessible fashion. Her use of language and of ideas is quite sophisticated. For instance, there is a point at which she speaks of the New Hampshire primary has being a place where “idols become people, and people become idols.” The word “people” might not be exactly the word that she used. However, her use of language there is not only very clever, but the reversal that she presents is sophisticated, brief, and witty. This young writer certainly processes ideas at a very high-level, I would say at the level of at least a college, junior or senior undergrad. I know of some people and graduate programs that would envy her writing ability.

  • T

    Thomas Conomacos
    Jan 14, 2024 at 12:36 pm

    Great article. It shows how the “party of the people” has become just another political bully that believes it has the right to manipulate and intimidate the people that put them into office. Shame on the democrats. They are just conceding the state! The Republican Party has become so obsessed with violence, barely veiled bigotry, and a sad lack of respect for humanity and women’s rights that I am persuaded now to seriously consider Mr. Dean!