Why Biden won’t appear on primary ballot in New Hampshire

President will be the first sitting White House occupant in history not to appear on the primary ballot of his party in New Hampshire early next year.

The president’s reelection campaign informed New Hampshire Democrats Tuesday in a letter obtained by CBS News from Biden campaign officials that while he’d like to appear on the ballot, Mr. Biden “is obligated as a Democratic candidate for President to comply with the Delegate Selection Rules for the 2024 Democratic National Convention” set in motion earlier this year.

According to a primary calendar first proposed by the president himself, South Carolina will be the first state to hold a primary that awards delegates for the Democratic National Convention in Chicago next year.

New Hampshire was pushed back further in the party’s calendar, but state law requires New Hampshire to host the nation’s first primaries. State Democrats couldn’t convince state legislators to reverse Granite State statute, but they also didn’t try terribly hard, since they disagreed with the DNC’s decision. Anyone who runs in the January Democratic primary won’t be awarded delegates by the DNC.

New Hampshire’s presidential candidate filing deadline is Friday, and Republican presidential contenders have been traveling to the State Capitol to file in person and submit the $1,000 filing fee. Potential Biden primary challengers — including Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips, who has not publicly ruled out a primary bid after floating the idea amid his concerns with the president’s age — still have time.

But the Biden team doesn’t seem worried.

Biden campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez wrote in her letter to New Hampshire Democrats, “The president looks forward to having his name on New Hampshire’s general election ballot as the nominee of the Democratic Party after officially securing the nomination at the 2024 Democratic National Convention where he will tirelessly campaign to earn every single vote in the Granite State next November.”

New Hampshire state Democratic Party Chairman Raymond Buckley tweeted in response to the president’s decision, “The reality is that Joe Biden will win the NH FITN Primary in January, win renomination in Chicago and will be re-elected next November. NH voters know and trust Joe Biden that’s why he is leading Trump in NH by double digits.”

Jacob Rosen contributed to this report.

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