Once again, New Hampshire is Ground Zero for the 2024 presidential campaign. Primary season has brought more than a dozen Republican candidates to the Granite State, each looking to pitch themselves as the best choice to take on President Joe Biden in 2024. While they all have similar policy proposals, on the issue of protecting Social Security – one of the biggest challenges facing both Granite Staters and Americans in general – so far, three candidates have defined themselves by promising changes to the program that could deny access to millions of people who rely on Social Security for retirement benefits. 
Not only are we one of the oldest populations in the country, with thousands dependent on Social Security, but it is also a top voting issue in the state, too. Candidates who have strongly affirmed Social Security have been rewarded at the ballot box and candidates who have proposed changing this life-saving program have been sent to the ash heaps of politics. Just look at the past midterm elections here. 
Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, former Vice President Mike Pence, and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie would be wise to learn these lessons early. Haley was the first candidate to call for changes to Social Security when she suggested raising the retirement age earlier this year. Pence, meanwhile, has repeatedly called for changes to the program, including echoing Haley’s idea of raising the retirement age. Christie, who only recently entered the race, was also quick to join Pence and Haley’s side, saying at a town hall he supported raising the retirement age and cutting benefits for wealthier Americans. 
It’s an undisputed fact that Social Security is popular with voters. Overall, 73 percent of Republicans support protections for Social Security, while in New Hampshire, more than 80 percent of voters have said they would be more likely to favor candidates who will protect Social Security. Despite that, Pence, Haley, and Christie have all publicly stated that the best way to save the program, which is set to go insolvent within the next decade, is to cut the benefits for those who depend on it. 
Perhaps Pence, Christie, and Haley think their position on Social Security will help them stand out from the crowded field of GOP candidates, or maybe they truly believe that cuts will keep the program afloat. Unfortunately, standing out on Social Security won’t do them any favors with Republican voters. Granite Staters want a plan to strengthen Social Security without cutting corners. Folks across our state who have worked for decades while paying into the program want to make sure they’ll get back what they’ve put in. Other Republican candidates like Ron DeSantis and Donald Trump have emphasized their policies will not affect Social Security. Haley, Christie, and Pence should endorse policies that will finance Social Security for all Americans.
Social Security remains one of the most important programs in the United States, and voters in New Hampshire and elsewhere have made clear where they stand. Pence, Haley, and Christie should rethink their stance on changes to Social Security; otherwise, they’ll soon find themselves left behind, just like so many others, when we go to the voting booth.