Vermont is coveting its neighbor’s primary and New Hampshire is not amused. A Green Mountain State lawmaker is pushing to have Vermont tag along with early-voting New Hampshire, which is traditionally home to the nation’s first primary. The 2016 election will mark a century of New Hampshire running presidential primaries, though it’s really been a feature on the political landscape, bringing the Granite State a quadrennial burst of media attention, hotel and restaurant business and clout in presidential politics since 1952. New Hampshire state law calls for its primary to be held at least seven days before any similar election — caucuses like the ones in Iowa don’t count, since they aren’t primaries. That could be difficult to accomplish in the future if Vermont passes Senate Bill 76.
It says, “In presidential election years, a presidential primary for each major political party shall be held in all municipalities on the same day as the New Hampshire presidential primary.”
“I think it would give Vermonters a louder voice in the early stages of choosing a presidential candidate and give us the ability to balance out the voices of our dear neighbors in New Hampshire,” said the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Anthony Pollina.
Any map of New England will show Vermont and New Hampshire side by side, and several of Vermont’s more liberal lawmakers, like the Progressive-Democrat Pollina, spoke of nudging presidential politics a little to the left. The idea was not expected to be popular east of the Connecticut River.