Iowa Nice vs. New Hampshire Ornery: A Tale of Spurned Democrats

A caucus location at Drake Fieldhouse in Des Moines in February 2020.Credit…Todd Heisler/The New York Times
Voters casting their ballots in a primary election in Hancock, N.H., in February 2020.Credit…Tamir Kalifa for The New York Times

When President Biden shook up his party’s presidential nominating calendar, Democrats in the two states that were bounced from the front of the line reacted in far different ways.

New Hampshire Democrats are going down kicking and screaming, insisting on holding a primary as if they hadn’t just lost their opening spot.

Iowa Democrats, ashamed by a 2020 fiasco that included a dayslong wait for results that were nonetheless riddled with errors, have meekly accepted their fate as primary season also-rans.

In what is perhaps a case study in Iowa nice versus live-free-or-die New Hampshire stubbornness, one state is showing that it views its quadrennial parade of visiting presidential candidates as a political birthright, while the other appears to see that spectacle more as a lost perk.

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