We are not long now from the first part of the campaign to elect the next president of the United States. At this stage this is all about the primaries. Who shall be the flag carriers for the Democrats and the Republicans?
For more than a quarter of a century, the first State with a Primary has been New Hampshire which is at the North Eastern extreme of the country. It is sparsely populated and a very costly state in which to campaign This is not a state where the campaign can rely on scheduled flights and a lot of money is going to be used on private jets.
So if a candidate has not got a good solid fundraising effort going by this point then the chances are that they will struggle in New Hampshire.
The other state that usually comes first is Iowa with its caucuses. Here on a cold winter’s night supporters of the various contenders have to queue up outside polling Centers in order to register their choice. Whole sections of the state’s electorate – particularly the old and infirm – are unlikely to be able to participate and there is a tendency for young contenders to do better here than elsewhere. In 2020 it was Pete Buttigieg who won the Democratic race.
The status of Iowa is now set to be undermined by the Democrats pushing it back a few weeks so it is no longer the first. There has been no change with the GOP.