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Dean Phillips

Kuster says Williamson could beat Phillips for second in N.H.

Today is Rep. Dean Phillips’ (D-Minn.) do-or-die moment in his very, very long-shot campaign to unseat President Joe Biden. But as New Hampshire voters head to the primary polls, local Democrats are dismissive of Phillips’ chances.

Rep. Annie Kuster (D-N.H.) told us that “not a single person” she’s interacted with has told her they’ve been won over by Phillips’ pitch for generational change.

“I think it’s very possible that Marianne Williamson will beat Phillips,” Kuster said. “She’s been there campaigning for a year. She has a steady following.”

Kuster’s view sums up the disdain most Democrats have for Phillips’ presidential bid, which has turned the former member of House Democratic leadership into a pariah within his own party.

For what it’s worth, recent polls have shown Biden with a sizable lead over Phillips in second with Williamson trailing in third.

The New Hampshire Democratic primary isn’t actually sanctioned by the DNC thanks to the Biden team’s move granting South Carolina first-in-the-nation status. But pro-Biden Democrats are mounting a write-in campaign to ensure the president isn’t embarrassed in the Granite State’s unofficial contest.

Kuster said pro-Biden groups will be stationed around polling sites explaining the process to vote for the incumbent.

“Luckily, his name is easy to spell,” Kuster said.

The New Hampshire Democrat, who chairs the New Democrat Coalition, said Phillips “hasn’t presented a vision or platform.”

“It’s kind of ironic, he’s been hammering away at Joe Biden, but, you know, a lot of the voters are older people,” Kuster added.

In other N.H. news: Rep. Joe Morelle (D-N.Y.) wrote a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland asking DOJ to investigate the robocall using a deepfake of Biden’s voice that urged voters not to show up today. The White House has confirmed the voice isn’t Biden’s. Both Phillips and former President Donald Trump’s campaigns have denied involvement.

More from Morelle:

— Max Cohen and Heather Caygle

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