New Hampshire Democrats are losing the First in the Nation primary the same way businessmen say they went bankrupt: Slowly, then all at once.
And from Chairman Ray Buckley to Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, they have nobody to blame but themselves.
It’s not like the DNC’s decision to blow up the early-state primary calendar was a surprise:
January 2016: “Iowa and New Hampshire wield too much influence. “
February 2020: “When Iowa Goes Down, New Hampshire Should, Too.”
April 2021: “Many Democrats Are Sick Of Iowa And New Hampshire Going First.”
Stevie Wonder could see this coming.
But when the news broke of the DNC’s decision this week, the reaction from Granite State Democratic leaders was to go full Kevin Bacon in Animal House: “Remain Calm! All Is Well!”
“Our status as the first primary in the nation is crucial to the presidential campaign process, which is why I will fight tooth and nail to protect it,” Shaheen tweeted.
“For more than 100 years, Granite Staters have led the country in political participation through our #FITN primary — and we will continue to do so for years to come,” tweeted Rep. Annie Kuster.
“New Hampshire has held the First In The Nation primary for over 100 years, and that’s not going to change,” tweeted Sen. Maggie Hassan. “We’ve defended our primary before and we will do it again.”
Several Democratic veterans told NHJournal off the record they didn’t really believe the DNC’s decision was even real. “This happens every cycle,” one clearly confused veteran Democrat said.
If tweets, hashtags, and denial could carry the day, New Hampshire would be a lock. But as Gov. Chris Sununu said of the Democrats in the federal delegation Thursday morning: “They have to do more than tweet. They have to work.”
And they should have started long before now.
For years, progressive Democrats have been pounding away at the Granite State’s place in the front of the presidential primary line by attacking the voters themselves. New Hampshire’s problem is its people. They’re just too White.
It goes back to at least 2008 when Hillary Clinton won a surprise victory over future President Obama. The conventional wisdom was that the old, White Granite Staters weren’t ready for a Black guy named “Barack.”
When Sen. Kamala Harris dropped out of the 2020 presidential primary due in part to disastrous polling in New Hampshire, Democrats like Sen. Cory Booker and former HUD Secretary Julian Castro said explicitly the White electorate in the Granite State was the issue.
“We can’t go around thanking Black women for powering Democrats to victory all over the country, and then at the same time hold our first caucus and our first primary in states that have almost no African Americans,” Castro said. “We’re right to call Republicans out when they suppress the votes of African Americans or Latinos, but we’ve also got to recognize that this 50-year-old process was created during a time when minority voices had zero power in the [Democratic] party.”
Leah Daughtry is one of the Rules Committee members who helped kill the FITN this week. In 2020, when candidates of color didn’t perform well in the early state primaries, she said, “Institutional racism and sexism is everywhere in this country, present in all of our institutions. And the presidential primary system is not exempt from that.”
Progressive writer Lauren Duca was more direct in her commentary on New Hampshire voters: “White supremacy is not just a Fox News problem, folks.”