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Nikki Haley Lands A Huge New Hampshire Endorsement

Will it make a difference, though?

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What had been widely speculated for weeks came to pass on Tuesday morning when word leaked that presidential candidate Nikki Haley was receiving a(nother) big boost. New Hampshire governor Chris Sununu is set to officially endorse Haley’s candidacy at a town hall meeting in Manchester tonight.

The scoop went to WMUR TV-9 (ABC – Manchester, N.H.), which noted “Sununu is going to really try to make this one count.”

Sununu’s decision sets up an interesting political dynamic as GOP governors in the first three early-voting states are now backing three different candidates. In Iowa, governor Kim Reynolds is all in for Florida governor Ron DeSantis, while in South Carolina, governor Henry McMaster is the conductor of former president Donald Trump‘s “First in the South” express.

How will the endorsement battle shake out?

“This is a big get for Haley on multiple levels,” one GOP operative not associated with any campaign told us. “Immediately, and perhaps most importantly, it shifts the conversation away from her lackluster debate performance last week in Tuscaloosa.”



The two-hour mauling Haley took on stage from DeSantis and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy at the University of Alabama left her visibly deflated by the end of the encounter – and appeared as thought it might blunt her recent national momentum.

A poor debate notwithstanding, Sununu’s endorsement completes a trifecta of good news for Haley over the last two weeks.  AFP Action, the grassroots arm of Americans for Prosperity, endorsed her presidential bid two weeks ago. That places the group’s deep pockets and extensive voter contact operation at her disposal. Losing that endorsement was also widely viewed as a serious blow to DeSantis.

Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal’s latest polling showed Haley beating incumbent president  Joe Biden by a jaw-dropping 17 percentage points in a hypothetical matchup. No other Republican came close to that sort of lead over Biden.

Still, Haley has yet to make inroads against Trump – nationally or in key early voting states. FiveThirtyEight’s “updating average” shows Trump holding at rock star levels with 61.7 percent backing among Republican voters nationwide, with Haley a distant third at 11.3 percent. At 12.2 percent, DeSantis still precariously clings to the second-place slot.

In New Hampshire, though, the race is much closer. There, Haley is well ahead of DeSantis – drawing 18.9 percent support compared to his 7.7 percent backing. Former New Jersey governor Chris Christie is actually polling ahead of DeSantis in the Granite State, drawing the support of 11.6 percent of GOP primary voters there. As for Trump, his lead is still huge (he’s backed by 44.7 percent of GOP voters, according to FiveThirtyEight) but Haley could conceivably put herself in the vicinity of “striking distance” if things break her way.




On a practical level, there is some question about how much benefit Sununu’s endorsement will actually deliver to Haley. New Englanders, in general, and Granite Staters, in particular, are a cantankerous lot. Though the outgoing three-term governor remains personally popular, his coattails are very small. His previous endorsements in his state’s congressional and U.S. Senate primary elections last year both lost to more MAGA-friendly Republican rivals.

Also, Haley has already moved well ahead of DeSantis in New Hampshire – meaning Sununu is endorsing at a point in the campaign where Haley’s momentum may have peaked.

But more telling is how the differing Sununu, Reynolds, and McMaster endorsements reveal fractures within the Republican Party – which works to Trump’s advantage.

“Trump couldn’t have set it up better himself,” a New Hampshire GOP operative told a media outlet.

The ABT (“Anybody But Trump”) wing of the GOP – consisting of #NeverTrumpers, chamber of commerce/establishment types, and a hodgepodge of voters put off by Trump’s personal demeanor – has failed to coalesce around a single opponent. Those who want Trump-ism without the baggage of Trump himself are sticking with DeSantis. The ABT crowd has settled on Haley. But the MAGA wing, coupled with Republicans who view Trump as the victim of political vendettas playing out in three separate courtrooms around the country, are sticking with him in numbers too large to overcome.

“At the end of the day, this is all about the battle to see who gets to claim the title of First Also-Ran,” another Republican consultant told us. “Because for better or worse, Donald Trump remains the star of the show in 2024. All that’s left now is determining who’ll be the first runner-up.”

And what the prize for the red ribbon will be …



Mark Powell (Provided)

J. Mark Powell is an award-winning former TV journalist, government communications veteran, and a political consultant. He is also an author and an avid Civil War enthusiast. Got a tip or a story idea for Mark? Email him at



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CongareeCatfish Top fan December 12, 2023 at 4:31 pm

When faced with the looming nightmare possibility of a deeply corrupt Biden administration getting a second term, or any of the other far-left Democrats taking his place to continue the forty- year march of the Marxist-Leninist soft coup of our Federal government, there should be no “never (insert Republican candidate name here)” conservatives. Vote for the person you want in the primary (for me, DeSantis), and then whomever wins, suck it up, get behind the winner and “fix bayonets” to do every possible legal action to help them win. It’s like the never-ending friction between the Navy and the Marines – squids and jarheads. In peacetime, or at least shore-side in time or war, they mock and criticize each other, get in bar brawls with each other, and even playing some semi-dirty tricks on one another, but when the kamikaze pilots are coming in to send you all to the bottom of the ocean, the acrimony gets stowed away and Marines and Sailors man the guns together and fight valiantly. That needs to be the view here for Republicans. Otherwise, rampant inflation and the destruction of the middle class, the Replacement Theory migration, and all the other evolving horrors of Venezuela-cum-America will be essentially irreversible. Haley’s not my cup of tea, but if she somehow wins the primaries, I’ll put as much sugar as I can in that tea and drink it down.

Don December 12, 2023 at 9:09 pm

The brain rot amongst Republican voters is real. People who are incapable of telling fact from fantasy…and they go with the fantasy every time. As long as it feeds into their irrational racist fear mongering they live on. Sad.

Everything I Don't Like is Communism December 14, 2023 at 8:02 am

Sometimes I wonder if Republicans have some actual recollection of the reality they left a long, long time ago, then I read things like Biden being a Marxist-Leninist and I remember they are very much still wearing the clown shoes.

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VERITAS Top fan December 12, 2023 at 5:50 pm

Let’s hope Nikki Haley goes nowhere fast … right out of the race. The O’Biden cartel is already fixing Newsom into the White House photo ops while puppet-on-a-stick scripted dunce O’Biden checks out of the Washington D.C. every Friday. Newsom is a homegrown marxist who know’s his state is s – – t but doesn’t care. Newsom, another narcissist equal to Trump, but on the other side – far, very far, left side – of the political tracks. This country is in a heap of trouble.

Jack December 13, 2023 at 11:47 am

True. We need to remove MAGA from any political office. Their only goal is to bring the US government to a stand still. Including our military.

Why would so-called “Americans” want the government and military to not function? Those are the actions of traitors and terrorists.
As long as MAGA republicans are involved in government, our country is in big trouble, no doubt!

JustCallMeAva Top fan December 14, 2023 at 8:08 am

If Trump is elected, the US will become a third-world country as our nation will descend into Christofascism.

Look Again December 14, 2023 at 4:37 pm

“Christofascism”? Trump has you guys fooled as much as he has the Trumptards and Trumpanzees fooled, it would appear.

Trump Tower in NYC is chock full of Satanic symbolism, to include the trees growing on the building’s exterior which count six, six, and six, when counted from any of three directions. IMHO, he is a NWO/Deep State Satanist.


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