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The Dartmouth
February 26, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Opinion Asks: Our Writers On Biden and the New Hampshire Presidential Primary

Due to controversy over New Hampshire’s law that requires it to hold the first presidential primary nationwide, President Biden is running as a write-in candidate and will not actually appear on the ballot. Our writers respond.

President Joe Biden will not appear on the New Hampshire Democratic primary ballot and has declined to campaign here, instead running as a write-in candidate. He’s done this as part of the Democratic National Committee’s effort to strip New Hampshire of its first-in-the-nation primary status and give it to South Carolina instead. As young voters, how does this impact your decision making?

As a voter who would rather eat the ballot box than vote for Donald Trump or Biden, I am struck by just how unaware Biden is of his own position. His handling of Gaza has alienated most young liberal voters — a key part of his base — at a time when he was already unpopular in the Democratic Party to begin with. Yet, his administration is more focused on where the first primary will be held than responding to the concerns of their voters. This perverted sense of priorities seems to me to be just one small symptom of a greater malaise within American democracy, which continues to whittle itself away under the pretenses of a two-party system. Though I don’t particularly care where the next Democratic party bureaucrat will be elected, I do think it shows how little we, the people, actually matter to our elected officials.

— Ramsey Alsheikh ’26, Staff Columnist

The DNC views New Hampshire as being so insufficiently representative of America that it barred Joe Biden from campaigning there. It’s not as though the state is unfriendly territory for Biden — he won it by 7% over Donald Trump in 2020. But why should any New Hampshire voter support a party who treats their state with such disdain? 

New Hampshire voters face the same issues affecting all Americans, such as the high cost of living, a wide-open border and rising global instability. Ham-handedly removing Biden from the ballot is an own goal on the part of the DNC. Time will tell as to whether this slight will affect Biden’s performance here come November.

— Thomas de Wolff ’24, Opinion Editor

Frankly, I think this is yet another example of the Democratic Party’s failure to maintain a unified front ahead of the 2024 presidential election. As Trump’s momentum towards a third nomination grows, Democrats have clearly struggled to rally behind Joe Biden — and it’s no wonder why. Frighteningly old and noticeably devoid of charisma, Biden is simply unable to create an energetic movement towards electing him once again — particularly in a state such as New Hampshire, where voters tend to fall relatively in the middle of the political aisle. 

As a left-leaning voter who’s not a fan of Biden, I should be excited at Biden’s absence on the New Hampshire democratic ballot and at the prospect of other candidates rising to replace him. Instead, I just find myself dreading what seems more and more plausible every day: Four more years of tremendous power all but delivered to Trump by a barely-coherent Biden.

— Jeremy Gart ’25, Associate Opinion Editor

I’d be more sympathetic to President Biden’s effort to hold the first presidential primary in another state if that other state were one he actually had a shot at winning, rather than one that hasn’t voted for a democratic presidential candidate since Jimmy Carter in 1976. Instead, Biden has simply insulted the voters of a competitive, must-win state to reward a handful of old allies. Add to that his dismal poll numbers in most battleground states, his lack of a clear reelection campaign platform and his administration’s inept response to the appalling war in Gaza that has shredded our reputation abroad, I hope New Hampshire sends him a strong wake up call to either get his act together or bow out of the race.

— Thomas Lane ’24, Opinion Editor

While the Democratic Party’s intentions are honorable, it is irresponsible to be playing with elections like this for political gain. Biden’s decision to not appear on the ballot suggests that he does not care about New Hampshire voters and has the potential to backfire months ahead of a general election that could be very competitive. 

— Cooper Nelson ’27, Contributing Columnist

As a first-time voter in this election, knowing that the candidate I was planning to vote for is not on the ballot has changed my plans for the primary election. I had previously intended to vote in New Hampshire because I knew it was a swing state with an early primary, and my vote could hold more power here. However, due to President Biden’s absence from the ballot, I will keep my voter registration in my home state of California.

— Ava Razavi ’27, Contributing Columnist

Opinion Asks contributions represent the views of their author(s), which are not necessarily those of The Dartmouth.