New Hampshire primary: How did Joe Biden win despite not being on the ballot?

New Hampshire primary: How did Joe Biden win despite not being on the ballot?
Joe BidenReuters

President Joe Biden has easily won New Hampshire’s Democratic primary, even though he was not on the ballot.

Enough voters wrote his name on their ballot papers, avoiding him the embarrassment of losing to Dean Phillips, a Democratic congressman.

Mr Biden skipped the primary because New Hampshire refused to move its vote, as ordered to by the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

South Carolina is officially first to vote in the primary race, next month.

As the stand-off between New Hampshire and the national party went on, Mr Biden’s supporters in the state organised a campaign for voters to put his name on the ballot, known as a write-in.

According to partial results late on Tuesday, Mr Biden had won 67% of the vote, far ahead of Mr Phillips on 19%.

Marianne Williamson, 71, an author and motivational speaker, garnered 4% of the vote, according to partial returns.

The duel between Donald Trump and Nikki Haley in the Republican primary generated most of the drama.

The DNC decided to have South Carolina be the first state to vote, because it said the southern state’s diverse population was more reflective of the country.

But New Hampshire did not move its primary, because it is bound by its state constitution to be first.

The DNC then stripped the state of its 24 delegates and Mr Biden did not register as a candidate. Voting in primaries decides the number of delegates that in turn select the party’s nominee at the national convention in August.

Dean Phillips

Reuters

That left the US president facing a challenge from Mr Phillips, a Minnesota congressman.

Mr Phillips has vowed to continue his campaign. “I’m just afraid that Democrats are sleepwalking into disaster,” Mr Phillips, 55, told the BBC.

“We did it in 2016. It is unforgivable and shameful to do the same thing knowingly this year.”

A moderate, Mr Phillips came to office in 2019. As the heir to his stepfather’s Phillips Distilling Company empire, which owns major schnapps and liquor brands, he is one of the wealthiest members of Congress. He spent more than $5m on ads in the state, according to ad-tracking firm AdImpact.

Mr Biden spent $156,000.

Source: bbc.co.uk

By David Ryckman