There Was A Second Race in New Hampshire Last Night

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While the Republican primary got the most attention last night, there was a Democratic contest too.

So let’s look at those results.

President Biden didn’t campaign in the state because New Hampshire refused to abide by the DNC’s new primary calendar which put South Carolina and Nevada at the front of the nomination line. His name didn’t appear on the ballot either. He appears on track to get a bit over 65% of the vote as a write-in. He’s likely one of the few and possibly only presidential candidate ever to win a primary as a write-in.

The known candidates whose names appeared on the ballot together got about a quarter of the vote. Rep. Dean Phillips got just under 20% of the vote while author and self-help guru Marianne Williamson got just under 5%.

One thing that confused some people last night was the delay in reading write-in ballots. The Times’ scoreboard had a line for “unprocessed write-ins”; the Post, more confusingly, referred to write-ins that hadn’t been read yet as simply “write-ins,” making it seem for much of the evening like Biden was losing to some other write-in candidates. This is just an artifact of the counting process. Machines can determine that a ballot is a write-in. A human needs to look at the hand writing and see who it’s for.

Those “unprocessed write-ins” almost all migrated over the course of the evening to the Biden column. But not all of them.

The remaining question is how the campaign to write-in “cease-fire” managed. I haven’t seen any news site so far that has this number. However, the Times currently says that 6.4% of the write-in ballots which have been read are for others besides Joe Biden. Since “cease-fire,” so far as I know, was the only other organized write-in campaign, it stands to reason that a substantial percentage of that 6.4% is “cease-fire.” But there’s no real way to know based on the currently released data.

However, yesterday, Daniel Marans of HuffPost said that the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s office told him they would publish the results for “cease-fire.” According to Marans, Anna Sventek, spokesperson for New Hampshire Department of State, told him: “As it’s an organized campaign, we will tally the results in a separate column.” Presumably that total will be published when the state published final tallies.

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