Trump Leads in Iowa as Haley Surges, While Democrats Plan New Hampshire Write-In Campaign to Stave Off Biden’s New Challenger

While President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump both maintain wide leads in the polls for the 2024 presidential primaries, both frontrunners could face turbulence in the critical early nominating states of Iowa and New Hampshire.


While President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump both maintain wide leads in the polls for the 2024 presidential primaries, both frontrunners could face turbulence in the critical early nominating states of Iowa and New Hampshire.

  • President Biden finished in fifth place in the 2020 New Hampshire Democratic primary, and he hasn’t forgotten that. Biden urged the Democratic National Committee to realign the calendar to benefit his reelection and take away New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation status.
  • New Hampshire Democrats refused to comply and kept the Granite State’s early-voting status. In response, the DNC sanctioned New Hampshire and Biden, caught between appearing on the ballot in New Hampshire and violating the DNC rules he proposed, chose the DNC.
  • As a result, 21 Democrats will appear on the New Hampshire presidential primary ballot, and Biden will not be one of them. Biden’s new primary challenger, Minnesota Congressman Dean Phillips, filed for the New Hampshire Primary and will now be the most notable Democrat on the ballot.
  • To avoid a humiliating defeat in the first primary of the cycle, New Hampshire Democrats created a “Write-In Biden” campaign to help the President get out of a “circumstance of Biden’s own making.” Thanks to his own failed calendar shake-up, Biden’s campaign now depends on an unaffiliated write-in push to avoid embarrassment in the first contest of 2024.
  • On the Republican side, former President Donald Trump is maintaining a 27-point ahead of the Iowa Caucuses in January, according to a new poll. The latest Des Moines Register/NBC News/Mediacom poll found Trump leading with 43% of the vote, roughly the same as the 42% he polled in August.
  • In a surprising result, former UN Ambassador and South Carolina governor Nikki Haley surged to tie Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for second place in the Hawkeye State. Haley and DeSantis are tied at 16%. This represents a drop of 3 points for DeSantis and a 10-point surge for Haley.
  • Sen. Tim Scott trails in fourth place with 7%, while Chris Christie, Vivek Ramaswamy, Doug Burgum, and Asa Hutchinson are all below 4% of the vote. Just 41% of likely caucusgoers said their minds were made up.
  • Haley’s “rise is real,” according to Politico, and its “reshaping the GOP’s longshot race to overtake Donald Trump.” Haley has benefited from good timing – “several rivals fading, one newly out, and with increasingly urgent calls for a consolidation of the primary field” – and the increased focus on international affairs after the attack on Israel has only helped her candidacy.

reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • The New York Times assessed “how Trump’s verbal slips could weaken his attacks on Biden’s age.” Michael C. Bender and Michael Gold wrote, “Mr. Trump has had a string of unforced gaffes, garble and general disjointedness that go beyond his usual discursive nature, and that his Republican rivals are pointing to as signs of his declining performance.”
  • Politico’s Jonathan Martin wrote, “By scrapping Iowa, demoting New Hampshire from its first-in-the-nation perch and moving up South Carolina to begin the balloting, President Joe Biden was hoping to preempt a nuisance primary challenge that could embarrass him before the general election. But that may be precisely what he has invited upon himself.
  • The Washington Post observed the “Write-In Biden” group is not technically affiliated with Biden’s campaign to not violate DNC rules. The chief proponent of the DNC rules that require this awkward two-step? Joe Biden.



  • Fox News reported that even though the “Write-In Biden” group was founded three days after Phillips’ entry into the race, the organizers claimed he had “nothing to do with the timing of their launch.”
  • The Wall Street Journal noted “DeSantis and Scott have put virtually all of their chips on Iowa and a finish outside the top three for either of them would almost certainly mean their support would wither. Haley has more adroitly managed her Iowa expectations and balanced her time and money between Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, home to the first primary in the South.”
  • Breitbart pointed out that New Hampshire Democrats refused to sacrifice their first-in-the-nation status, even after “Biden’s campaign manager, Julie Chavez Rodriguez, pleaded with New Hampshire Democrat Chair Ray Buckley to break the state’s rules and allow Joe Biden on the ballot. “The president is incredibly grateful for the support that Granite Staters have shown him both as a candidate for office and as president of the United States,” she wrote. Buckley replied Tuesday that Joe Biden must comply with the state party’s rules. As a result, there will be 21 names on the Democrat ballot in the Granite State, but Joe Biden will not be among them.”


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© Dominic Moore, 2023