President Joe Biden emerged victorious in the New Hampshire Democratic primary on Tuesday, despite not actively participating in the race. This unexpected win, achieved through a strategic write-in campaign, marks a significant moment in the ever-evolving landscape of American politics, particularly after the Democratic National Committee (DNC) decided to strip New Hampshire of its delegates.
This triumph for Biden came as a surprise to many, as he had chosen to bypass the New Hampshire primary following the DNC's reshuffling of the presidential nominating calendar, which now places South Carolina at the forefront.
Despite his absence from the ballot and lack of campaigning in the state, Biden's supporters rallied, channeling their efforts into a robust write-in campaign. This initiative, backed by an investment exceeding six figures in digital advertising and mailers, was pivotal in educating and guiding voters to support the president.
Biden Leads in Early Counts
The early counts of unprocessed write-in ballots significantly outnumbered those for Biden's main competitors, Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) and self-help author Marianne Williamson. The preliminary data suggested that Biden led Phillips by more than a three-to-one margin, according to reports from three major news networks.
Phillips, who entered the race in October, initially expressed respect for Biden but warned of the president's potential vulnerability against former President Donald Trump. His campaign strategy evolved into a more direct critique of Biden and the Democratic Party.
Phillips raised concerns about democratic principles, citing instances of the party allegedly obstructing his candidacy. Investing $5 million of his personal funds, Phillips adopted a unique approach in New Hampshire. He criticized Biden from both progressive and conservative angles, championing "Medicare for All" while simultaneously challenging Biden's stance on marijuana legalization and border security issues.
Phillips faced his own controversies, notably removing references to “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” from his campaign website following criticism from a significant financial supporter. A pro-Phillips super PAC, "We Deserve Better," aggressively targeted Biden's electability in its advertisements, spending a whopping $1.9 million earlier in the week.
These ads highlighted Phillips' support for universal healthcare and openly criticized the DNC for allegedly rigging the primary process against Biden's opponents. This unprecedented outcome in New Hampshire not only underscores the fluid dynamics of American electoral politics but also highlights the powerful influence of grassroots movements and strategic campaigning in shaping political narratives and outcomes.