Media Availability: Experts to Comment on New Hampshire’s First-in-the-Nation Primary Status

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

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DURHAM, N.H.—For over 100 years, New Hampshire has been the first primary election in the country and now the Democratic National Committee has decided that is enough. In a plan proposed by President Joe Biden and approved by a DNC vote earlier this year, the first-in-the-nation status will now go to South Carolina. The decision has been met with a lot of resistance and uncertainty and months later the debate continues as the deadline to comply approaches on June 3, 2023.

Experts from the University of New Hampshire are available to talk about the implications of this change for the Granite State, its residents, the presidential election and both political parties—especially since, in order to comply, NH would have to repeal a 1975 state law that requires its primary to precede all others and the state would need to pass new legislation to expand access to early voting.

Dante Scala, a professor of political science, is a nationally recognized expert on presidential politics and campaigns. He can speak to what this means for N.H. and what the new primary order may, or may not look like, if NH continues to honor the existing state law. Scala is the author of Stormy Weather: The New Hampshire Primary and Presidential Politics and The Four Faces of the Republican Party.

Scala can be reached at; 603-540-4018

Andrew Smith, a professor of practice in political science and director of the UNH Survey Center, is known nationally as an expert on presidential elections, U.S. primaries and political polls. He can discuss how this shift in order could change the political landscape in NH and the effect it might have at the polls. He has more than 30 years of experience in academic survey research and is co-author of The First Primary: New Hampshire's Outsize Role in Presidential Nominations.

Smith can be reached at; 603-343-7732

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