EXETER, New Hampshire — President Biden secured a victory in New Hampshire’s Democratic primary Tuesday night, despite not being listed on the ballot and leaving supporters to write his name in.
With more than a quarter of the expected Democratic vote in, the 81-year-old incumbent was projected to have more than enough support to thwart his nearest challenger, Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.), who attained 20% of the vote.
Self-help author Marianne Williamson was a distant third, with 5% of the vote.
Biden declined to register for the New Hampshire primary ballot following a calendar dispute between the Democratic National Committee and state officials.
The DNC had attempted to move the first-in-the-nation primary to South Carolina on Feb. 3, but New Hampshire refused to comply, since state law mandates it hold its primary at least a week before any other state.
To counter Biden’s snub, state Democratic bigwigs put their influence behind the “Write-in Biden” initiative, which placed volunteers at polling places, put up signs and sent out mail instructing New Hampshire Democrats on what to do on primary day.
Live election results from New Hampshire
Longtime Democratic strategists feared that Biden’s absence from the ballot could lead to a repeat of the 1968 primary, when then-President Lyndon B. Johnson also was not listed on the ballot and announced he would not seek another term following a narrower-than-expected win over Sen. Eugene McCarthy (D-Minn.)
Although Biden’s absence likely depressed voter turnout for him, Tuesday’s finish represented a major improvement over four years ago, when he came in fifth place with around 8% of the vote.
Biden’s win likely means the end of the road is near for Phillips, who revealed last week he had dropped $5 million of his own money on his campaign.
The Minnesota lawmaker’s main argument has been that the 81-year-old president is too old for office and doesn’t have enough support to defeat GOP frontrunner Donald Trump.
“The way that Donald Trump demeans many on my side of the aisle, the way that Joe Biden has not restored the soul of the nation, that is the dearth of leadership that I think the country’s really demanding,” the 55-year-old told Fox News Tuesday morning.
“Joe Biden is a good man,” Phillips added. “He’s not going to beat Donald Trump … I think both of these two men should be retired by now.”
Phillips also argued Biden’s failure to show up in the Granite State showed how little he cared about voters.
“A sitting American president chose to not be on the ballot in the first-in-the-nation primary state,” he told The Post in an interview last month. “I think it’s a symptom of a much broader disease, and that is a lack of respect for voters all around the country, including here.”
Phillips has vowed to he would continue on to other early states like Michigan and will keep fighting to get ballot access in states that are not holding Democratic primaries due to Biden being an incumbent president.