At a Democratic Party dinner here, Dean Phillips sat for two hours while top party official after top party official stood to praise Joe Biden, his opponent, and urge voters to write in Biden’s name on the ballot for president next month.
Approximately 500 Democrats, including the presidential hopeful, attended the party’s Eleanor Roosevelt Dinner in a downtown Manchester event space. Attendees adorned with “write-in Joe Biden” stickers surrounded him.
“The nation’s first primary the very first victory for the Biden-Harris campaign,” Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) urged the crowd as she took the stage. The highlight of the occasion, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, began his remarks by mentioning “there’s an important primary next month.” He displayed a pen “in case anyone needs” to emphasise his argument, which is that anyone should write in Biden’s name.
The question about Phillips’s attendance was directed towards Rep. Annie Kuster (D-N.H.), who was standing off to the side. With a write-in sticker adorning her pink blazer, she said, “I can’t imagine that there’s anybody here that even cares.”
It was a sobering reminder of the steep odds that Minnesota Representative Phillips must overcome in order to challenge Joe Biden in the primary. Here, you might not see the president’s name on the ballot. The party machinery, however, is firmly in his corner.
And it’s not limited to the Granite State alone. After submitting only Joe Biden’s name for candidature in the Florida Democratic Party’s presidential primary, Phillips threatened legal action earlier this week, suggesting that the party may skip the contest altogether.
Phillips, though, must leave his imprint in New Hampshire if he is to pull the candidature away from his opponents. There are early indications that Democrats will not allow him to run unopposed. Top Democrats are making every effort to guarantee Biden’s victory despite the fact that he will not be on the ballot owing to a disagreement between the state and national parties.
Longtime Democratic operative in New Hampshire Kathy Sullivan revealed to HEADLINESFOREVER on Friday that she is helping to form a super PAC to urge primary voters to write in Biden.
A former head of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, Sullivan, said that the PAC had started to solicit donations. Granite for America is another group that has registered with the FEC.
Launching the super PAC comes as several state Democrats subtly voice their worry that primary voters need to be reminded that they must write in Biden’s name on the ballot in order to support him.
Kuster remarked, “Thank God his name is easy to spell” in reference to Biden. It’s not on par with Lisa Murkowski or anything.
While his supporters manned a table outside the meal, Phillips tried to work the room to generate interest in his campaign, even though he did not take the stage himself.
Later, Phillips spoke to reporters about how he loved and cared for many of the speakers, including coworkers.
Nevertheless, he made the comment that “we all know the polls,” seemingly alluding to the fact that certain national surveys have Biden lagging behind Trump in direct comparisons. “Also, it saddens me that our political culture does not currently value candour, integrity, and principle.”
Biden refrained from having his name appear on the New Hampshire primary ballot due to the state’s breach of the regulations set forth by the Democratic National Committee. Embarrassing losses to Phillips or self-help expert Marianne Williamson would be disastrous for the state’s Democratic Party, so prominent Democrats are banding together to support Joe Biden’s write-in candidature.
According to Sullivan, the PAC was established with the purpose of informing the public about the ability to vote for Joe Biden on the ballot.
Strategists in New Hampshire have already established a distinct grassroots group to rally supporters to write in Biden’s name. The organisers of the initiative also mentioned that group, and they are gradually ramping up operations and have hired two people. Organising is being spearheaded by Patrick Conway, who was most recently campaign manager for Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess, and messaging is being advised by Aaron Jacobs, a former senator from New Hampshire (D). On January 23, the day of the New Hampshire primary, the group will organise volunteers to carry placards at the polls, encouraging people to write in Joe Biden’s name, as part of their effort to educate voters.
On Thursday, Representative Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) rallied about 100 volunteers on a Zoom call to support the grassroots organisation Granite State Write-In.
Sullivan, who was formerly involved with the grassroots organisation, gave scant information regarding the super PAC for which she currently serves as treasurer. According to her, additional details will be shared in the coming weeks.
No need to freak up if you’re a Democrat who wants a stronger push to get people to type in Biden’s name. Phillips and the other presidential hopefuls who have filed to be on the ballot will not receive delegates, according to officials, because of the sanctions imposed by the DNC.
However, there are Democrats who are looking forward to additional television advertisements, yard signs and an aggressive turnout at state-wide party gatherings. We have relied heavily on volunteer efforts to operate the write-in campaign thus far. Phillips might run his own ads here thanks to his independent riches, even though he’s trailing Biden in the polls.
On Friday, during the state Democratic Party banquet, the fledgling grassroots movement displayed its strength. Stickers for the write-in campaign adorned the blazers of dozens upon dozens of prominent Democrats from the state as they circulated about the event hall.
The audience rose to their feet in response to Jefferies’s lengthy rant against Biden’s legislative achievements. Along with them, Phillips stood up from an adjacent table, where he had been courteously applauding.
A few feet away, a queue of people lined up to take home yard signs for the Biden write-in campaign. Phillips later complained to reporters that New Hampshire voters were being “disenfranchised” because the president did not place his name on the ballot here.
The write-in campaign is “going great — we’re signing up all kinds of people” and “we’ve got signs everywhere,” according to Kuster.
There is a general consensus in New Hampshire that Joe Biden will not be running for office, according to Ray Buckley, leader of the state’s Democratic Party.
Nevertheless, he expressed his hope that voters are cognizant of the occasionally esoteric regulations that need to be adhered to in order to insert a candidate.
“I just want to double-check that everyone who leaves has done it right,” he stated. “It’s possible for someone to write someone else’s name without completing the oval.”
It is entirely up to Biden to create the situation where his supporters must engage in a write-in campaign to support him. The Democratic National Committee acted in response to the president’s request to hold the party’s first nominating contest in 2024 in South Carolina, with New Hampshire voting second on a date shared with Nevada.
However, primary elections in New Hampshire are required by law to take place one week prior to any comparable battle. Republicans in charge of the state’s government were adamant on keeping the law as is, and Democrats were quick to dismiss the idea of a party-run primary as being too cumbersome and expensive to get around the statute. The primary was scheduled by state officials about two weeks before the race in South Carolina on February 3rd.
Support for Biden has declined slightly in the state compared to previous UNH surveys, according to a new CNN/UNH poll, but Phillips and Williamson are still considered long shots. In contrast to Phillips (who received 10% support) and Williamson (who received 9% support), 65% of 674 probable Democratic primary voters polled indicated they would write Biden in instead. An online survey with a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points was carried out from November 10th to the 14th.
Khanna, who is on the national advisory board for the Biden campaign, is hopeful that the president will win the primary next month, but he restated his earlier requests that he run.
He expressed his hope that Biden will “be involved in supporting these efforts” and expressed confidence in his ability to win the primary based on conversations with state voters. People have faith in the president, and his track record speaks for itself. I will do my best to spread that message in my role as a campaign surrogate.