Chris Sununu snubs Ron DeSantis in New Hampshire, backs Nikki Haley

Gov. Ron DeSantis was already struggling in New Hampshire before the state’s Governor reportedly decided to endorse rival Nikki Haley.

As first reported by WMURChris Sununu is poised to endorse the former South Carolina Governor.

The DeSantis campaign is downplaying the importance of the endorsement.

“What happens in New Hampshire will be significantly impacted by the outcome in Iowa, where the true Trump alternative will emerge. And when Ron DeSantis comes out in that position he will be joined by over 60 New Hampshire state legislators who stand ready to take the fight to the establishment and their candidates of yesteryear to return power to grassroots conservatives,” asserts spokesperson Andrew Romeo.

Despite the positive spin, the Sununu decision is clearly disappointing, as it’s an endorsement the Florida Governor seemed to believe was in play, despite clear qualms expressed over months by the Granite State’s chief executive.

During a podcast interview with Tara Palmeri, Sununu said the Florida Governor has had a “significant slide” in the Granite State.

“Ron’s campaign is Ron’s campaign, and obviously, he took a pretty significant slide,” Sununu said late last month, referring to the Floridian’s plummet in the polls.

“He’s been spending a lot of time in Iowa. So that’s why he’s doing, I think, well, better in Iowa and not quite as well in New Hampshire, but he’s still got a game here, to be sure. He’s still coming, but not quite as much, and he’s putting a lot of his chips into Iowa, and there’s reason for that, and that’s understandable to a certain extent,” Sununu added. “You have to play in both states if you’re going to do well.”

During the same interview, Sununu further quibbled about DeSantis’ Iowa strategy, saying that the state’s Governor, Kim Reynolds, may have endorsed the Florida Governor too early. In retrospect, that might have been foreshadowing.

“Her timing of her endorsement was a little bit odd because it was a short week. It was the day before an election that was going to grab all the headlines. It was 10 days before the government was potentially going to shut down that way. It was just odd.”

During an early November appearance on the Guy Benson Show, Sununu was effusive about Haley as a “fighter,” saying more positive things about her than about DeSantis.

Ahead of that interview, Sununu told reporter Dylan Wells there was “no doubt” Haley, who he accompanied during a campaign swing, has pushed ahead of DeSantis in the Granite State.

“People in New Hampshire pay attention to the debate, they see what’s happening on the ground. That’s clearly why her numbers have soared, so we’ll see if they can keep up the momentum.”

Last month, when DeSantis was in New Hampshire, Sununu squired him around the state, but stopped well short of an endorsement.

“The race is actually wide open. I think there’s three or four candidates that are clearly surging ahead. There’s six or seven, I don’t even know how many we’re counting at this point in the race,” Sununu told Stephanie Murray of The Messenger.

DeSantis openly courted Sununu’s endorsement, saying in August on “The Pulse of New Hampshire” that he thinks Sununu “has done a great job,” believes “New Hampshire is the best-governed state in New England, and “reject(s) Donald Trump’s attacks” on Sununu.

Yet the Florida Governor’s failure to get traction made those efforts moot.

According to the Race to the White House polling average, DeSantis’ 8% is good for fourth place, behind Trump, Haley and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. And one key poll is even worse.

Last month’s Washington Post-Monmouth survey of New Hampshire GOP Primary voters found the Florida Governor had fallen to fifth place in the Granite State.

With 7% support, the Florida Governor finds himself behind Trump (46%), Haley (18%), Christie (11%) and Vivek Ramaswamy (8%).

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