CONTACT: NH Democratic Party, (603) 225-6899





CONCORD, NH – New Hampshire Democrats today publicly released a compromise presidential nominating calendar, designed to increase diversity in the process and reverse the frontloading trend that is leaving much of the country out of the nominating process. 


The proposal was sent by fax this morning to the members of the DNC’s commission studying potential changes to the nominating calendar.  The commission began last spring with a mandate to decrease frontloading and increase diversity.


“This compromise achieves all of the commission’s key goals for a nominating calendar: it increases diversity, decreases frontloading, maintains the historic grassroots tradition of New Hampshire’s first in the nation primary, and helps us elect a Democratic President in 2008” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Kathy Sullivan.   “This is a compromise that everyone with an open mind should be able to get behind.”


The plan would make two significant changes to the current presidential primary calendar, specifically: 


“(1) Add one or two contests to a prominent position at the front of the presidential nominating calendar, between the New Hampshire primary and the beginning of the period open to any state.  These contests would occur in states whose voting public displays substantial racial, ethnic, religious or other key diversity characteristics; and (2) Reverse the frontloading trend by creating a series of sanctioned dates on which states could hold presidential primaries or caucuses, beginning on or about the first Tuesday of February and ending on or about the second Tuesday in June.”


The effect of this plan would be to add more diverse states to Iowa and New Hampshire at the beginning of the calendar, without replacing their historic role.  Additionally, it would extend the nominating calendar so that every state can play an important role in the process – as opposed to the current trend of frontloading, where large bunches of states are decreasing the influence of each individual contest and ending the calendar almost immediately.


This compromise plan, which has been proposed individually to commission members over the summer and was offered to the group at the last meeting of the commission, is being presented publicly as the commission heads towards its final meeting on December 10.


“This commission has pledged to recommend a plan that moves our party towards both a more diverse and less frontloaded calendar, while respecting New Hampshire’s traditions.  This compromise is a chance to do exactly that,” said Joe Keefe, co-chair of a task force established by the NH Democratic Party to track the commission’s work. “The New Hampshire Presidential Primary not only plays an important and positive role in the presidential nominating process, but also is fundamental to our state’s history, identity and culture.  This compromise preserves that special role while making real, unprecedented strides towards a more diverse, less frontloaded calendar.” 


For a copy of the proposal and the letter accompanying it to DNC commissioners, just reply to this email.