Joe Biden Opts Out of New Hampshire Primary Ballot, Potentially Easing Impact of Poor Performance

Image source NBC News

In a surprising twist in the unfolding political saga, Joe Biden has chosen to forego nomination for the New Hampshire primary ballot, a decision that could offer a strategic advantage in navigating the potential fallout from a disappointing performance.

Annelise Nielsen, Washington Correspondent for Sky News Australia, delves into the intricacies of Biden’s unconventional move, painting a picture of the clash between the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and state-level Democrats, resulting in New Hampshire losing its prominence on the Democratic primary calendar.

Biden’s choice is rooted in his lackluster showing in the state during the 2020 elections, where he landed in fifth place and failed to secure a single delegate. This decision, while raising eyebrows, aligns with New Hampshire’s tradition of allowing even incumbent Presidents to file nominally for the primary ballot. However, Biden’s absence from the ballot means voters in the state must write him in as a candidate, potentially setting the stage for a lower result.

In a letter to the DNC in 2022, Biden argued for increased representation of people of color and urban voters in the early stages of the nomination process. While a noble goal, Nielsen astutely points out the underlying self-preservation element as Biden grapples with dismal polling numbers, including a 55.4% disapproval rate according to FiveThirtyEight and a significant percentage of Democrats viewing him as too old to run again.

The decision triggers a clash between the DNC and New Hampshire Democrats, who contend that canceling their participation in the primary would violate state legislation. Democrats like Minnesota Representative Dean Phillips are actively campaigning, suggesting that any result less than 80% for Biden as the incumbent should be viewed as a blow for the president.

Nielsen artfully notes the establishment’s hope that New Hampshire’s result will fade into obscurity amid the high-stakes drama of the Republican nomination. As the first ballot result of this election cycle, all eyes are now on New Hampshire, where Biden’s unorthodox strategy unfolds against the backdrop of heightened political tension on the national stage.