It’s not just the beautiful New Hampshire weather that has attracted Democratic politicians to the state over the past few weeks.
Democratic governor. J.B. Pritzker, an Illinoisan, visited the Granite State a few months ago to head the New Hampshire Democratic Party’s annual Convention.
Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna from California, a progressive congressman, visited New Hampshire last month to sign copies of his book at Exeter’s Water Street Bookstore.
Pritzker is running to re-elect himself this year. His political team stressed that Pritzker’s trip to the state which has for over a century held the first primary on the presidential nominating calendar was about helping fellow Democrats to get to the November ballot. Khanna said to reporters that he was encouraging those who were disappointed by President Biden to stay with him in 2024.
“Are you right for the fight?” 🥊
Yes we are, Governor @JBPritzker! Thank you for joining us today for our 2022 State Convention! #NHPolitics pic.twitter.com/bi0ogem2w2
— NH Democratic Party (@NHDems) June 18, 2022
Biden repeatedly stated that he plans to run for a second term.
“If I’m in the health I’m in now, if I’m in good health, then, in fact, I would run again,” Biden said in an interview with ABC News in December.
There has been much speculation and chatter for more than a year about whether or not the president will run in 2024. Biden became the oldest president ever elected in 2020, a historic moment. Biden will be 82 years old at his second inaugural and 86 at the conclusion of his second term if he wins his re-election campaign in 2024.
Biden has not been able to improve his low approval ratings with Americans. Since last autumn, the president’s approval ratings are at an all-time low. There have been a lot of stories over the past weeks about frustrations among Democrats regarding the president’s response by the Supreme Court’s conservative majority, to overturn Roe v. Wade’s landmark abortion ruling. Also, questions were raised about Biden’s suitability for another term as President.
When asked about recent New Hampshire stops by Khanna and Pritzker, a New England-based Democratic consultant stated that it did look a bit like sharks circling chum.
The consultant requested anonymity so he could speak freely. He stated that many of these potential candidates were “testing the waters” and trying to maintain their relationships.
If Biden decides not to seek re-election, Kamala Harris will be the front-runner. While Harris is a prominent advocate for abortion rights in the administration, her national poll numbers are as negative as her boss’s. A recent survey at the University of New Hampshire found that the vice president’s favorability rating among Granite State Democrats was just 54%. This is nine points less than Biden.
Many political pundits believe that Harris will not win the race if Biden withdraws.
Harris’s 2020 presidential campaign in New Hampshire was unsuccessful. Harris recently hosted a South Carolina Democratic Party dinner. South Carolina is fourth on the party’s nomination calendar. She also visited the Granite State last April to highlight broadband investments made by the Biden administration.
Other rivals in 2020 have also stopped in the primary state.
Minnesota’s Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who came in third in the 2020 New Hampshire primary, returned to New Hampshire in March to host a party dinner. New Jersey senator Cory Booker, who, like Harris, suspended his 2020 presidential campaign prior to the start of primary and caucus calendars, returned to New Hampshire in March to headline a major fundraising gala for state parties.
Transportation Sec. Transportation Sec. Buttigieg also visited Iowa and Nevada, which were the first and fourth states that voted in the recent Democratic presidential primaries.
“Some people are planning for the possibility of Biden not running again, and they want to ensure that they have all their ducks in order,” said a New Hampshire-based Democratic strategist who asked to remain anonymous.
Veteran strategist, the strategist said, “It’s a clear sign that there are major issues in the Harris orbit if people are already traveling to the Granite State.”
Politico first reported that Buttigieg has moved his residence from Indiana to Michigan. According to the Transportation Department, the change of residency was made for family reasons. Chasten Buttigieg, Buttigieg’s spouse hails from Traverse City in Michigan. This allows them to be closer to Chasten’s parents, who can help with childcare.
Buttigieg’s switch of residence moves him from Indiana, the red state, to Michigan, the political battleground. Michigan is lobbying the Democratic National Committee for its presidential primary to be moved higher up on the nominating calendar.
Win the Era, Buttigieg’s former PAC has begun endorsing some Democrats and providing resources to them.
California Governor is another potential Democratic White House hopeful. He has not visited an early voting state but has sparked speculation about 2024. Gavin Newsom.
Newsom, like Pritzker, is also running for reelection and has put an end to any national political ambitions. He launched an ad last Wednesday that targeted conservative governors. Ron DeSantis is a rising star of the GOP and is considered a possible 2024 contender by pundits.
Newsom stated that freedom was under attack in his state in an ad, which included pictures of DeSantis as well as former President Donald Trump. “Republican leaders are banning books, making voting harder, restricting speech in schools, criminalizing doctors, and making it harder for voters to cast ballots.”