But if Trump doesn’t run for president in 2024, or if his popularity within the party fades by then, New Hampshire will be a critical testing ground, and potential competitors are already gauging Sununu’s potential appeal. That’s because, after the Iowa caucuses, any candidate who rests his candidacy on a more moderate, non-evangelical support base (potential candidates like former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie or Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan) will need desperately good showing in New Hampshire. , where moderates traditionally flock to win over socially more moderate Republicans and independents.

“I’m just looking at the way forward,” said an adviser to Hogan. “Sununu causes chaos across much of the 2024 field if he runs.”

Even if Sununu doesn’t run, he will be a highly sought-after sponsor in the state. For potential candidates, said Wayne MacDonald, a New Hampshire legislator and former state GOP chairman, Sununu “will, at that point, be a fourth-term Republican governor. He has a great organization and a strong support base, and that support is going to be very important.”

Trump, perhaps, is the only exception to that rule. He easily won the New Hampshire primary in 2016 and again in 2020, and it’s unclear whether any Republicans, including Sununu, could beat him there.

Lewandowski said at a Mar-a-Lago event earlier this month that if Sununu runs against Trump in 2024, “there’s a 0.000001 percent chance that Chris Sununu will be the Republican nominee for President of the United States.” Joined”.

Lewandowski suggested that there is still time for Trumpworld to get rid of Sununu with the submission deadline not until June.

“I think Chris is very vulnerable in a Republican primary, so we’ll see if anyone runs against him,” he said.

Sununu has not been as critical of Trump as some Republicans, such as Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse or Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson. Sununu supported Trump in 2020 and insists he is not “anti-Trump.

But Sununu has rejected Trump’s unsubstantiated claims that the 2020 election was rigged. calling him “uninformed”.In another break with Trump, the governor said that people convicted of participating in the riots on Capitol Hill on January 6 must not be forgivenand said he didn’t need Trump campaigning with him in New Hampshire.

Then came the Gridiron Club dinner in Washington, DC, where Sununu he later said he was simply telling “jokes.”

The prodding of the former president, who is frowned upon by the current iteration of the GOP, doesn’t appear to have hurt Sununu. in the last San Anselmo School Survey, Sununu ranks favorably among men, women, and people of all age groups and education levels in New Hampshire. Despite his moderate profile, he is viewed favorably by 86 percent of Republicans and more than 80 percent of people who describe themselves as “very conservative.”

“He has handled the Trump stuff, objectively, politically very well,” said Fergus Cullen, a former chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party. “He knows when to hug him and when to push him away.”

Meridith McGraw and Stephanie Murray contributed to this report.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.