The Republican National Committee put New Hampshire on notice Thursday by threatening to cancel the presidential primary debate in NH if the state dares to move up its primary election date.
— Rep. Keith Ammon 🌐 (@RepKeithAmmon) September 21, 2023
The RNC is currently planning to hold debates in the big four primary and caucus states — Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina.
True to form, Gov. Chris Sununu (R-NH) responded in kind telling Fox News, “The first presidential primary will be taking place in New Hampshire, regardless of what the political power brokers in Washington, D.C. think…We will not be threatened, we will follow our law, and we WILL go first. End of story.”
The RNC’s announcement comes just weeks after the DNC-imposed September 1 deadline for NH to fall in line with South Carolina hosting the first primary on February 3, 2024. The DNC has since issued an extension to NH, which many conservatives believe is a sign of desperation in light of Sununu’s willingness to play hardball.
If the state doesn’t capitulate by October 14, Biden’s name may not be on the ballot. It appears many NH democrats are willing to take that chance to uphold their state law that gives the Granite State the first-in-nation primary slot dating back to 1920.
A University of New Hampshire poll from July 2023 touts 78% of NH Republicans support their position in the primary game, followed by 72% of independents and 43% of democrats.
Meanwhile, Iowa is considering alterations to existing law that would mandate mail-in voting and boost Iowa’s caucus to January 15, 2024, making them first in the nation instead.
New Hampshire’s primary is currently scheduled for January 23, 2024, and there is still time for NH to leapfrog ahead of Iowa. New Hampshire Secretary of State David Scanlan so much as promised they would when speaking with the NH Journal.
Scanlan also conveyed this is a matter of principle and the bigger picture at hand. In a recent interview, he told WMUR he was eager to schedule the first-in-nation primary and was not “willing to allow things to take place that are incrementally moving towards a primary because that gets the foot in the door.”
Sununu seems keen on getting the last word in this debate, giving the DNC much the same response in weeks past as he delivered to the RNC this week.
As the new DNC deadline approaches and the RNC wields its angry fist, the diverse voter population of NH is not standing down.