Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Biden Tells Granite State to Kick Rocks

This is not much of a surprise, but Joe Biden made it official yesterday that he will not file for the New Hampshire presidential primary. This being the case, his name will not appear on the ballot.

The point here, of course, is to try to move South Carolina to the front of the line, since that would give Black voters a bigger voice in the choice of nominee. The only problems are: (1) New Hampshire takes great pride in its first-in-line status and will not give that up easily, and (2) the Democrats don't control any part of South Carolina's government, and so can't actually compel that state to move up its primary. If the DNC and Biden had figured out a way around these two problems, or at least one of the two, then the President's maneuvering might make more sense. As it is, the primary impacts appear to be: (1) aggravating voters in purple New Hampshire and (2) potentially allowing some minor candidate, like Marianne Williamson or Rep. Dean Phillips (DFL-MN), to "win" the primary.

As to #1, clearly Biden and the DNC think there is some benefit here that makes things worthwhile. Maybe they think that it's going to take several cycles for the idea to sink in that New Hampshire can't always go first, and they decided that there was no time like the present to get the process started. Or maybe they think Black voters will appreciate the gesture, even if it doesn't bear fruit. Who knows? As to #2, there is likely to be a write-in campaign that will secure the state for Biden anyhow, even if he's not listed on the ballot. And even if one of the vanity candidates "wins," nobody's going to take that seriously. And even if they do, the "wins" will quickly be forgotten once South Carolina takes its turn on Feb. 3 and Nevada does the same on Feb. 6 (the date of the New Hampshire primary is not set, as yet, but will likely be January 22). (Z)

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