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Chris Sununu predicts Haley NH primary win, ‘strong second’ in Iowa

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, a top Nikki Haley backer, guaranteed Wednesday that the former South Carolina governor will come out on top in his first-in-the-nation primary state — even beating GOP frontrunner Donald Trump.

The Republican governor added while campaigning with Haley in Londonderry that the former ambassador to the United Nations will come in a “strong second” in the Iowa causes on Jan. 15, overhauling rival Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to do so.

“Having a strong second place finish was always our goal” in New Hampshire’s Jan. 23 contest, Sununu added before telling the audience: “We’ve got that wrapped up, guys … we’re gonna win.”

The predictions by Sununu are the clearest indicator yet of the expectations Haley backers have for the 51-year-old.

Haley herself has said she hopes for a “good showing” in Iowa, but has not been more specific about what that would represent.


Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley and New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu speak to members of the press after Sununu's endorsement of Haley during a Town hall event at McIntyre Ski Area on December 12, 2023.
Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley and New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu speak to members of the press after Sununu’s endorsement of Haley during a Town hall event at McIntyre Ski Area on December 12, 2023. Getty Images

Americans for Prosperity Action, the grassroots Charles Koch-funded organization backing Haley, previously told The Post that they expected her to place “second or third” in the Hawkeye State.

The Haley campaign did not immediately respond to inquiries from The Post about Sununu’s comments.

Haley has been rising in the polls in both states, but has come on particularly strong in New Hampshire, where one recent poll showed her a mere four percentage points behind Trump.


Former President Donald Trump speaks during a commit to caucus rally, Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023, in Waterloo, Iowa.
Trump has been outpacing the rest of the GOP field, but Haley has risen to become his top contender, especially in New Hampshire. AP

According to the RealClearPolitics average, Haley is polling at 24.8% in the Granite State, more than 20 points behind Trump’s 46.3%, but well in front of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and DeSantis, who are pulling 10.5% and 9.5%, respectively.

The Trump campaign has dismissed Haley’s apparent surge, accusing her in a memo this week of trying to take advantage of New Hampshire’s rules allowing unaffiliated voters to pick a party primary to vote in on the day.

“[W]e can expect the Nikki (not ready for primetime) Haley campaign to launch efforts designed to co-opt and take over a GOP nominating contest with non-Republicans and Democrats, hoping that a ‘Coalition of the unwilling’ is enough to slow President Trump down,” read the Tuesday memo by Trump advisers Susie Wiles and Chris LaCivita.

AFP Action has deployed its grassroots team to Iowa in recent months to get Haley the best showing possible, but she will have to catch up to DeSantis’ well-established ground game and Trump’s overwhelming support in the state.

The former president’s campaign is focusing on turning out a maximum amount of new caucus-goers in Iowa in an attempt to deliver a blowout win and end the race before most voting starts.

The former president is polling at 51.3% in Iowa. DeSantis is in second at 18.6% and Haley is in third with 16.1%, according to RCP’s average.

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Written by SaleemBaloch

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