GOP Governor Says He ‘Assumed It Would Be Closer’ Between Trump, DeSantis For Nomination


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Mary Lou Masters Contributor
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New Hampshire Republican Gov. Chris Sununu said Monday he “assumed it would be closer” in the polls between former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

DeSantis was polling closely with the former president in the first part of the year, ahead of Trump’s two indictments and the Florida governor’s official campaign launch in late May. The key early primary state governor was asked by Fox News’ Sandra Smith whether he thought DeSantis would be “farther ahead” at this point, and Sununu responded that it wasn’t what he’d expected. (RELATED: ‘Truly Unprecedented’: Donald Trump Is Dominating The Early Primary Season Like Nothing In Modern History)

“I think a lot of us assumed it would be closer between the former president and DeSantis, but given the indictments, given all the attention and given that sympathetic push by the base to the former president, and that’s what you’re seeing in a lot of the polls,” Sununu said. “It doesn’t mean they’re going to vote for him — you still have to earn the vote. Most voters in a primary, at least in New Hampshire, we have one of the highest voter turnouts in the country, and most will only decide who they’re voting for three or four weeks, like around Christmas, if you will. There’s still so much to be played out here.”

The RealClearPolitics (RCP) average for a 2024 national Republican primary, based on polls conducted between June 10 and June 26, indicates the former president is leading DeSantis by over 30 points.

“Look, it’s the former president. He’s got the name ID, he’s got the recognition, he’s got the war chest, all of that. Nobody should be surprised that the former president is in the lead. It’s a big lead but it is not insurmountable by any means,” said Sununu.

Trump is also ahead of the Florida governor in all of the key early primary states — in Iowa by 23 points, in New Hampshire by 28 points, in Nevada by 30 points and in South Carolina by 23 points, according to FiveThirtyEight.

“President Trump has been dominating in poll after poll — both nationally and statewide. It’s not what politicians think, it’s about what the voters think, and they are clearly behind President trump in a big way,” Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

DeSantis’ campaign did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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