Asa Hutchinson Endorses Haley 2 Days Before New Hampshire Primary

Asa Hutchinson Endorses Haley 2 Days Before New Hampshire Primary


The former Arkansas governor announced his support on social media, while making a scathing attack on former President Donald Trump.

CONCORD, N.H.—Former presidential candidate Asa Hutchinson has endorsed Nikki Haley’s bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

The former Arkansas governor gave Ms. Haley the nod in a social media post on Jan. 20, three days ahead of the New Hampshire primary election.

“Anyone who believes Donald Trump will unite this country has been asleep over the last 8 years,” Mr. Hutchinson wrote on X. “Trump intentionally tries to divide America and will continue to do so.”

Mr. Hutchinson signed off with, “Go @NikkiHaley in New Hampshire” and the hashtag FITN, a reference to the Granite State’s primary election being the “first in the nation.”

The endorsement comes at a key moment for Ms. Haley, as she battles former President Donald Trump in a state where she is polling well.

Ms. Haley began to rise in New Hampshire polls in late December. A Jan. 15 poll by American Research Group, Inc., showed President Trump and Ms. Haley tied at 40 percent each.

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Another poll, conducted by CNN and the University of New Hampshire, showed Mr. Trump leading Ms. Haley by a margin of 11 percent.

Battle for Endorsements

President Trump has collected a bevy of endorsements that have trickled out over the last two weeks.

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, a former candidate in this race, endorsed the former president on Jan. 14, the day before the Iowa Caucus. Former presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy endorsed President Trump on Jan. 16, immediately after suspending his own campaign.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) endorsed President Trump on Jan. 17, and Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), another former candidate in this cycle, did so on Jan. 19. In all, 26 sitting senators have endorsed President Trump.

Ms. Haley, a former two-term governor of South Carolina, has been endorsed by two sitting governors—Chris Sununu of New Hampshire and Phil Scott of Vermont—as well as three former governors, in addition to Mr. Hutchinson.

Mr. Sununu has frequently appeared with Ms. Haley on the campaign trail.

Head to Head

Ms. Haley has tried to portray the GOP nominating contest as a two-person race, largely ignoring Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who edged her out for a second-place finish in the Iowa caucuses.

She tried to goad President Trump into participating in a debate that had been planned in New Hampshire for Jan. 18. Mr. Trump declined to appear, as he has done for five previous Republican debates.

Instead, President Trump has increased his attacks on Ms. Haley.

“She is not presidential timber,” President Trump said at a rally here on Jan. 19.

“Now, when I say that, that probably means that she’s not going to be chosen as the vice president,” addressing widespread speculation that Ms. Haley would eventually join a Trump ticket.

“She’s not tough enough. She’s not smart enough,” President Trump added. “She cannot do this job.”

Ms. Haley has also amped up her rhetoric concerning the former president, questioning his mental competency.

“When you see them hit a certain age, there is a decline. That’s a fact. Ask any doctor,” Ms. Haley said on Jan. 20, seeming to refer to comments made by President Trump on Jan. 19. Mr. Trump apparently referred to Ms. Haley multiple times when meaning to mention Nancy Pelosi in connection with the events of Jan. 6.

The polling results concerning President Trump and Ms. Haley were largely accurate in Iowa. The result of the caucuses were roughly equal to their position in opinion polls in the week before.

In New Hampshire, Ms. Haley’s recent polling average is 34 percent, nearly triple her popularity at the national level. A strong finish here could add to her growing momentum heading into next month’s primary in South Carolina, her home state.

The New Hampshire primary will take place on Jan. 23.

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