Home Politics 2024 New Hampshire Primary: What Is It & How Does It Impact the Election?

2024 New Hampshire Primary: What Is It & How Does It Impact the Election?

by Scott Kacsmar
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NH Primary

After the Iowa caucus had its fun last week, the attention shifted to New Hampshire, which has held the 1st state primary in every election in the United States since 1920.

That streak continues as the New Hampshire primary takes place on Tuesday, January 23, 2024.

There will be events for both the Republican and Democratic parties as they look to figure out who will earn their party nomination and have their name on the ballot for the November presidential election.

How does a primary differ from a caucus, why are Democrats voting with Joe Biden’s name not even on the list, and what impact could this have on the Republican race and the political betting sites after Donald Trump won big in Iowa last week?

We answer those questions and more in our look at the 2024 New Hampshire presidential primary.

How Does New Hampshire Differ from the Iowa Caucuses?

The most notable difference between these events is that Iowa was a caucus and New Hampshire is a primary.

With caucuses, people must attend a group meeting in the evening hours to listen to debate and support for a candidate before a ballot is cast. This caucus approach is fairly exclusive to the state of Iowa, which has done it for decades now.

With a primary, which most states use, you just have people show up to vote. It takes place over the course of a whole day (usually from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM). It is very similar to election day in November in that regard. You do not have to go to a meeting.

The other main difference is that you must be a registered Republican voter to partake in the Iowa Republican caucus. You can go to the meeting as an independent or Democrat, but you must change your registration to Republican to cast a vote.

In New Hampshire, independents can go vote in this primary right alongside Republicans, and they even outnumber them by 400,000 to 300,000 in the state. This makes the voter bloc a bit more diverse than you’ll get from Iowa.

Twist in the Democratic Primary in New Hampshire

Last week, the Iowa caucus was only for the Republican side of the election.

This time, New Hampshire has a primary for the Democrats, but there is a big twist: President Joe Biden is not one of the 21 names of Democrats on the voting ballot this Tuesday.

How can that be? Long story short, there was a scheduling controversy.

A few years ago, Biden suggested there should be diversity within the primaries, meaning New Hampshire does not have to be the 1st one each time as has been tradition.

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) agreed with the change and moved things around to make South Carolina the 1st primary, but New Hampshire did not comply, as it violates state law that says they must be 1st.

Feels a bit childish, doesn’t it?

So, New Hampshire is going through with this primary, the DNC is calling it unsanctioned, and people are being told to write-in Biden’s name so he gets the win here.

The good news is the vote will be a formality. The winner, even if it’s not Biden by write-in, will not receive any of the 33 delegates from New Hampshire. Democrats will have to wait for South Carolina’s primary the following week to see Biden’s name on a ballot.

The Race for the Republican Nomination in New Hampshire

The Republican side is much more interesting anyway as we know Biden is running for reelection in November barring something astonishing.

The Iowa caucus was last week and Donald Trump won by a significant margin with 51% of the vote, receiving 20 delegates from the state.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis finished 2nd with 21.2% and 9 delegates. Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley finished 3rd with 19.1% and 8 delegates. After finishing in a distant 4th place with 7.7% of the vote, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy suspended his campaign.

This narrows the field even more, but the focus is on Haley this week in New Hampshire.

She has been endorsed by New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu. While she had to be disappointed to finish behind DeSantis in 3rd place, it was close, and she is projected to crush him in New Hampshire where he has reportedly already conceded that he won’t do well there.

Numbers Talk

Here are the latest poll results for the New Hampshire primary from FiveThirtyEight:

  • Donald Trump – 47.1%
  • Nikki Haley – 33.9%
  • Ron DeSantis – 5.2%

NH Poll 2

This is where the independents in New Hampshire play a much bigger role as those are the voters that Haley must attract in large numbers. Her performance here is going to be important, but is it really going to shake up the race from a national perspective?

author avatar
Scott Kacsmar
NFL football picks are Scott Kacsmar's expertise, serving as his main focus. He has contributed to various sports websites and blogs, such as NBC Sports, ESPN Insider, FiveThirtyEight, and, JoeWager. Originating from Pittsburgh, Scott maintains a love-hate connection with the Pirates.

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