Friday, October 20, 2023

There is no path to the Democratic nomination that goes through New Hampshire

Invisible Primary: Visible -- Thoughts on the invisible primary and links to the goings on of the moment as 2024 approaches...

First, over at FHQ Plus...
  • The Democratic presidential field may expand to include another candidate with a New Hampshire focus, but the story for Democrats in Granite state is not finished. The impasse between the state party and the DNC continues over the primary and there are a few ways forward in the fight from here. All the details at FHQ Plus.
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In Invisible Primary: Visible today...
There is no path to the Democratic presidential nomination that goes through the New Hampshire primary in 2024. And any wrong-turn detour that works its way across the Granite state is highly unlikely to embarrass the president and alter the outcome.

So why are the handful of D-listers trying their hands at challenging President Joe Biden trekking to New Hampshire (or keeping the phone lines to well-positioned Democrats in the state warm)?

Mainly, it is because it is the only play they have got. But that did not prevent Politico from trotting out the well-worn embarrassment angle in their latest on the rising Phillips 2024 campaign:
Should Phillips go through with announcing, he will need to quickly get himself on the ballot in key states. He’s already missed the deadline to appear on the ballot in Nevada, the second presidential nominating state for Democrats. South Carolina, the first nominating state in the new calendar, has a balloting deadline of Nov. 10. 
But Phillips may opt to skip the new calendar, focusing instead on New Hampshire, which is expected to hold its own unsanctioned primary after losing its first-in-the-nation status. A strong showing there would not net Phillips substantial delegates but it could prove a major embarrassment for Biden.
FHQ has discussed this before, so I will not rehash it all for the umpteenth time. But the gist is this: Biden will not be on the New Hampshire primary ballot when the unsanctioned contest is held (likely) on January 23. One cannot be embarrassed if one is not on the ballot. And how would one measure a "strong showing" under those circumstances? Winning? It would have to be winning because losing to an unorganized write-in for Biden would be embarrassing for the competition (not to mention New Hampshire Democrats) and not the president. 

Fine, but there is an organized write-in effort, right? 

Sure, there is that. But even the write-in campaign is being put together by folks who are openly mad at the president for advocating for the early calendar change. In other words, there are people working against a random candidate winning and further embarrassing New Hampshire Democrats. And that is not an environment in which it is any easier to score a "strong showing" by the competition. All sides are disadvantaged and not in the same ways. No, that will not stop some from trying to score the outcome, but the bottom line is that non-Bidens are fighting for a "strong showing" in a beauty contest primary with no delegates on the line. 

That is a springboard to what? A collapsing Biden candidacy? A subsequent meteoric rise for the winner? Both? The entry of new candidates? 

The goals in this are very strange. But again, there just are not that many openings in the process for prospective candidates not named Biden. If there were, then the field would have expanded long ago. But it has not.

From around the invisible primary...


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