The rush to announce noteworthy endorsements before the New Hampshire primary is on. The New Hampshire primary is next week, on Tuesday, January 23.
Senator Tim Scott endorsed Donald Trump Friday. His endorsement was announced during a campaign event in New Hampshire Friday night. On November 12, Scott suspended his own presidential campaign during an interview on Fox News’ “Sunday Night in America” with Trey Gowdy. The unexpected announcement left his fellow South Carolinian and friend Gowdy speechless. At the time, Scott said he would not endorse in the Republican primary.
There is a desperate push going on by Team Trump to plead with Republican primary voters to unite behind Trump. Trump supporters point to his big victory in Iowa and claim the primary is over now. That’s premature, of course, but it is not unreasonable for voters to look at the landscape and begin to accept that Trump will likely be the Republican nominee. For better or worse, a majority of Republican primary voters are remaining loyal to Trump. That is the reality.
If you are keeping track of endorsements, you’ve noticed that many politicians are falling in line and endorsing Trump. Last week Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz endorsed Trump. With Rubio’s endorsement, Trump has secured the support of both Republican senators in Florida and most of the House Republicans in the Florida delegation. Trump is ahead of Ron DeSantis and Haley in Florida.
Scott posted on X that he was going to New Hampshire on Friday. Trump’s plane was behind him.
New Hampshire here we come! pic.twitter.com/vlzm1uO0s9
— Tim Scott (@votetimscott) January 19, 2024
Senator Scott delivered quite a performance for Trump.
We need a president who will close our southern border.
We need a president today who will stop the crime in the streets.
We need Donald Trump!
That is why I am officially endorsing Donald J. Trump for President of the United States.
— Tim Scott (@votetimscott) January 20, 2024
As you might expect, Team Haley was not pleased with this development. Both Trump and Haley asked Scott for his endorsement. New Hampshire Governor Sununu, who endorsed Haley and has gone all-in on her campaign, pointed out that it was Governor Nikki Haley who appointed Scott to the U.S. Senate in 2012 when he was a member of the House to fill a vacancy. She takes credit for his Senate career. Before that, she served with him in the state legislature.
Scott said it’s all about unity.
Following the rally, Scott said in a Fox News interview that “it’s time for us to unite our party so that we make sure that the only target we’re talking about is firing Joe Biden. Our country can’t take four more years. I’m not sure we could take ten more months. The best way for us to get rid of Joe Biden as our president is to unite our party now behind Donald Trump.”
Let’s just say that Governor Sununu was not gracious in his response to Scott’s endorsement of Trump.
“Tim Scott wouldn’t have a job without Nikki Haley. Nobody cares what Tim Scott thinks. If they did, he actually wouldn’t have been driven out of this race three months ago,” Sununu said when asked on “The Story” about the pending endorsement.
“The reason senators don’t like Nikki Haley is because she calls them out for being overpaid and underworked, and being basically a privileged nursing home — I mean, that’s what Congress and the U.S. Senate have become,” the governor said, adding that it is no wonder that senators “feel threatened” by Haley.
Nikki Haley received the endorsement of another governor. Vermont Gov. Phil Scott endorsed Haley. Governor Scott is a longtime never-Trump Republican.
“America has a decision to make, and our friends and neighbors in New Hampshire have an opportunity to showcase their deep-rooted independent streak. After years of controversy, violent rhetoric and growing polarization, the very last thing we need is four more years of Donald Trump,” he said.
“Our future is in jeopardy, and Americans deserve candidates with character and integrity, who respect the rule of law, the rights of all people, and the Constitution,” Scott, a Republican, added. “In my view, the Republican Primary is now a two-person race. Governor Haley is our only chance to ensure America has the choice it deserves in November.”
“Whether you’re a Republican or independent, I encourage you to vote for Governor Haley in the Republican Primary. It is my sincere hope that the good people of New Hampshire will send a clear message. This is not the time for Republicans or independents to sit it out. It’s time to move our country forward,” Scott said.
Will Governor Scott’s endorsement move New Hampshire voters to support Haley? He is a New England Republican, more moderate to liberal than Republicans in other parts of the country. Scott admitted to voting for Biden in 2020. He may play to independent voters and Democrats who can vote in the Republican primary if they changed their party affiliation by the deadline last October. I’m skeptical as to how many people that would be.
Endorsements are interesting but I am not convinced they move the needle that much in elections. We have entered the phase when the primary season is underway and those who have been sitting on the sidelines now feel confident enough to come out with an endorsement of Trump. They see the writing on the wall and are jumping on board to curry favor. This primary looks like it will be over before it really gets started. That’s too bad. Competition is good.
I don’t see a path for either DeSantis or Haley at this point. That’s the reality. DeSantis said he is in it at least until Super Tuesday. Haley has the financial backing of the Koch network. We’ll see what happens on Tuesday. The question is how close to Trump will Haley finish. Then it is on to Nevada and South Carolina. Haley is reported to not be on Nevada’s ballot.
Let the GOP primary play out.