- President Joe Biden might be forced to forfeit primary contests in Iowa and New Hampshire.
- New DNC rules championed by Biden demoted Iowa and New Hampshire on the primary calendar. But the states intend to hold elections early anyway.
- The DNC rules prohibit candidates from adding their names to ballots in states that don’t adhere to the calendar.
President Joe Biden’s newly launched 2024 re-election campaign is not off to the smoothest start.
One of Biden’s challengers may be poised to secure the first electoral contests of the season, putting the incumbent president at risk of losing early state nominations to lesser-known candidates, NBC News reported.
The new primary calendar ratified by the Democratic National Committee – at Biden’s request – downgraded Iowa and New Hampshire from their longstanding positions as the first electoral hoorahs of the primary season. As a result, candidates are prohibited from campaigning — or even adding their names to the ballot — in any state that refuses to adhere to the calendar.
Both Iowa and New Hampshire, who have long enjoyed outsized influence as early-voting states, plan to buck the DNC rules and hold their contests early anyway.
That means that if Biden intends to follow his own rules, he would have to forfeit the two contests, clearing the way for Democratic challengers like Marianne Williamson, a self-help author, or Robert Kennedy Jr., an environmental lawyer best known these days for his anti-vaccine stance. Both have said they would accept the DNC’s penalties for campaigning out of turn, NBC News reported.
The DNC has not yet indicated what those penalties might be.
“We still intend to have a presidential primary that will be first in the nation,” said New Hampshire’s secretary of state, David Scanlan, according to NBC News. “Whether the president campaigns here or not is up to him. It’s up to him whether he’s going to place his name on the ballot or not.”
Scanlan added of Biden: “If he chooses not to place his name on the ballot, I’m sure there will be some New Hampshire Democratic voters who will write his name in.”