RNC warns it will yank debate in New Hampshire if primary date shifts earlier

The Republican National Committee (RNC) warned the New Hampshire Republican Party on Friday that it would cut one of the party’s presidential debates if the state moves up its primary date ahead of the Iowa caucuses.

caveat, First reported by FOX Newstensions are rising between the national Republican Party and New Hampshire, which has long pushed for the nation’s first primary.

“Regardless of what the political power brokers in Washington, D.C. think, the first presidential primary will be held in New Hampshire,” New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu told Fox News. “We will not be intimidated, we will obey the law, and we will be the first to act. End of story.”

New Hampshire law requires the state to be “first in the nation” to hold a primary, and the Granite State has traditionally held its Republican primary just after Iowa. In this election, the national Republican Party placed Iowa in first place, scheduled for January 15, 2024, followed by New Hampshire a week later.

Democrats made a bigger shift, moving both Iowa and New Hampshire away from the front lines. The Iowa Democratic Party scrapped that calendar and voted to hold its caucuses on Jan. 15, the same day as Republicans.

Because the Hawkeye State uses a caucus system, normally Iowa would be the leading party, which would not cause problems, and New Hampshire would continue to have the primary primary, but this year’s Iowa Change complicates matters. Iowa is adding a mail-in element to this year’s caucuses, prompting concerns in New Hampshire that it could violate its “first-in-the-nation primary” rules.

Some Republicans in New Hampshire are now trying to jump ahead to Iowa and hold the primary even earlier. It won’t fly, the RNC said.

The RNC plans to hold debates in the early primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, but the party has warned that the debates will be canceled if New Hampshire reschedules its primary.

Sununu condemned the threat in a statement on Fox News on Friday.

“New Hampshire can level the playing field for all candidates and propel them to the presidency,” he said. “Threatening to take debates away from New Hampshire is a disservice to all campaigns and candidates who have worked tirelessly to capture the votes of New Hampshire’s Republican districts.”

The second debate in the Republican primary will be held Wednesday night at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California.

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