New Hampshire announces first-in-the-nation presidential primary, defying DNC

On July 15, 2019, New Hampshire announced that it would hold the nation’s first presidential primary in February 2020, despite a direct challenge from the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Under pressure from the DNC, the four other states with the earliest presidential primaries – Iowa, Nevada, South Carolina, and California – had already agreed to shift their primary dates cumulatively.

However, New Hampshire’s Secretary of State Bill Gardner stated that his state would proceed with its traditional first-in-the-nation primary on February 11, 2020, saying, “The New Hampshire primary has been and will remain first in the nation.”

The resolution between the state and the DNC urges both sides to remain flexible and open to negotiating solutions to the qualifications for delegates in the 2020 primary cycle. It also allows for New Hampshire to move its primary date back if there is an agreement that includes a state further south in the region, such as Massachusetts.