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Biden wins the New Hampshire primary after Democrats write him on the ballot

President Biden speaks during a campaign rally at Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas, Va., on Tuesday. Biden's name was not on the Democratic primary ballot in New Hampshire.
Saul Loeb
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AFP via Getty Images
President Biden speaks during a campaign rally at Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas, Va., on Tuesday. Biden's name was not on the Democratic primary ballot in New Hampshire.

Updated January 23, 2024 at 10:38 PM ET

MANCHESTER, N.H. — President Biden won the New Hampshire Democratic primary on Tuesday, an unusual race that he skipped after his party changed its rules in favor of seeing South Carolina hold the first nominating contest of the year.

As a result, Biden wasn't on the printed ballot. But Biden won regardless, according to a race call by The Associated Press.

The victory comes after a grassroots campaign urged Democrats to write in his name and a super PAC raised about $1.5 million to back the effort.

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The outcome is more symbolic than anything. The Democratic National Committee broke with tradition this year and chose South Carolina to hold its first primary of the year, on Feb. 3. But New Hampshire has a law requiring it to go first, so it went ahead with its vote anyway.

As a result of the dispute, New Hampshire's delegates won't be seated at the Democratic National Convention in August, and the results won't count toward Biden's official nomination.

The snafu gave an opening to Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn., to launch a long-shot challenge against the incumbent president.

But Phillips' push prompted the New Hampshire Democratic establishment to organize a write-in campaign to try to ensure Biden was not embarrassed by the primary results.

The Biden-Harris campaign, for its part, steered clear of the state and the write-in effort.

In a statement Tuesday night, Biden thanked "all those who wrote my name in this evening in New Hampshire. It was a historic demonstration of commitment to our democratic process."

He added: "It is now clear that Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee. And my message to the country is the stakes could not be higher."

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Democratic challenger and U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips listens to supporters during a campaign rally on Monday in Manchester, N.H.
Brandon Bell / Getty Images
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Getty Images
Democratic challenger and U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips listens to supporters during a campaign rally on Monday in Manchester, N.H.
Campaign signs asking voters to write in President Biden on the primary ballot are seen in Loudon, N.H., on Friday.
Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
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Getty Images
Campaign signs asking voters to write in President Biden on the primary ballot are seen in Loudon, N.H., on Friday.

Tamara Keith
Tamara Keith has been a White House correspondent for NPR since 2014 and co-hosts the NPR Politics Podcast, the top political news podcast in America. In that time, she has chronicled the final years of the Obama administration, covered Hillary Clinton's failed bid for president from start to finish and thrown herself into documenting the Trump administration, from policy made by tweet to the president's COVID diagnosis and the insurrection. In the final year of the Trump administration and the first year of the Biden administration, she focused her reporting on the White House response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jeongyoon Han