In an upcoming New Hampshire governor race, the influence of the one and only Donald J. Trump is looming large over the Republican candidates. Both of the GOP contenders have pledged their undying support for the former president if he secures the party’s nomination in 2024. Former New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who previously put up some resistance to Trump, has now had a change of heart and declared her backing for the man himself. She believes that Joe Biden has been nothing short of a disaster and is ready to throw her weight behind the Republican presidential candidate, whoever that may be.
The second Republican candidate, former state Sen. Chuck Morse, has also hopped on the Trump train, claiming that after listening to the voters, it’s clear they want a leader who will seal the borders, maintain a strong energy policy, and combat the looming threat of inflation. He sees Trump as the key to delivering on these issues. It’s become quite apparent that Trump’s endorsement could make or break the contenders, with his supporters signaling that his backing would heavily sway their vote. However, there are also those who are adamantly against Trump and have made it known that his endorsement could have the opposite effect on their voting decisions.
One such undeclared voter, Deborah Bailin, hinted that if Trump throws his weight behind a candidate, she’s likely to do the opposite. However, she did note that Ayotte, one of the candidates, was a “good senator.” Ayotte has had a tumultuous history with supporting Trump, publicly denouncing him in 2016 after an infamous tape surfaced in which Trump bragged about his behavior towards women. Ayotte couldn’t stomach his actions and made it clear she couldn’t support someone who spoke and acted in such a manner. Adding to the complexity, Ayotte’s Senate tenure was short-lived, with a narrow defeat in her reelection bid.
As the candidates vie to succeed Gov. Chris Sununu, who opted out of seeking another term and has thrown his support behind Trump’s rival, Nikki Haley, the opposition is using Trump’s shadow and their conservative views on abortion to score some political points. Democrats see an opportunity to reclaim the governorship and gain control of the legislative branch by positioning the candidates as mere extensions of Trump and criticizing their conservative stances on abortion. The New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman, Ray Buckley, didn’t mince words, highlighting the strong anti-abortion records of both candidates and tying them closely to Trump.
But let’s not forget – the key decision-makers, the Republican voters, will have their say on Sept. 10. The fate of the New Hampshire governorship hangs in the balance, and the Trump factor is just one piece of the puzzle as the state braces for a high-stakes political showdown.