New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu To Back Nikki Haley For President

Sununu has clout in the first primary state, sure — but it’s unclear that he alone can prevent Donald Trump from becoming the GOP nominee.
Nikki Haley, pictured during last week's GOP primary debate, is picking up a key endorsement in New Hampshire.
Nikki Haley, pictured during last week's GOP primary debate, is picking up a key endorsement in New Hampshire.
(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

New Hampshire’s Republican Gov. Chris Sununu is expected to endorse Nikki Haley for the GOP presidential nomination, giving Haley a key supporter in her bid for the White House.

Sununu, one of the country’s most popular governors who himself passed on a run for president, will endorse Haley at a town hall event in Manchester on Tuesday, local news station WMUR first reported.

Sununu’s critical endorsement comes a month after Haley’s rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, locked up an endorsement from another early-nominating state governor, Iowa’s Kim Reynolds.

Haley has been vocal about wanting support from Sununu. “It would be big,” Haley said last month. “The idea that if we could get his endorsement, it would mean a lot. But, you know, we’ll wait and see. He’s taking his time on this one, and we’re going to hold out.”

Haley is nowhere close to catching up to Donald Trump in New Hampshire; polling averages have her trailing him by double digits, 45% to 19%. But she’s beating DeSantis by several points there (DeSantis is actually in fourth place behind ex-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie), and a strong finish in New Hampshire will give the former South Carolina governor momentum heading into the next contest on the primary calendar, which happens to be in her home state.

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, one of the nation's most popular governors, is expected to endorse Nikki Haley on Tuesday.
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, one of the nation's most popular governors, is expected to endorse Nikki Haley on Tuesday.
(AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

New Hampshire’s governor, a moderate Republican known for his ability to win votes from swing voters and independents in a blue state, has been shepherding various presidential candidates across his home turf ahead of the Jan. 23 New Hampshire primary — though it’s unclear that even Sununu’s clout will prevent Trump’s slow march toward the nomination. Sununu, a Trump critic, has said that Trump can’t beat President Joe Biden in 2024 and the party needs to move on from him.

But that’s looking increasingly unlikely to happen. The latest Iowa Poll released this week showed Trump with a commanding — and growing — lead in the first caucus state, which votes Jan. 15. Trump bumped up his support to 51% of caucus-goers who say he’s their first choice, while Haley and DeSantis are still vying for second place at 16% and 19%, respectively.

Haley is kicking off a three-day New Hampshire swing today, while Trump is expected to visit Durham, New Hampshire, for a campaign event on Saturday.

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