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2024 presidential candidate courting Democrats in open primary

Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley at a campaign event with then-Sen. Martha McSally in Scottsdale, Ariz. in Oct. 2020. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)
December 17, 2023

Presidential candidate Nikki Haley and Republican New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu are urging independents and Democrats to vote in the Granite State’s Republican primary election as Haley attempts to close the gap on former President Donald Trump’s lead in the polls.

After announcing his endorsement of Haley for president, the popular Republican governor has appeared alongside the former United Nations ambassador’s campaign, urging Republicans, Democrats, and independents to consider supporting Haley’s White House bid in the state’s open primary.

A video posted Wednesday by MAGA War Room on social media highlighted Sununu and Haley’s plan to build momentum in New Hampshire as the primary election approaches.

When asked about his plan to help Haley win the Republican primary election in New Hampshire, Sununu, who appeared alongside Haley on Fox News, said, “I’m asking everyone to come out. If you’re a Republican, a conservative independent, conservative Democrat, I don’t care. The fact is we’re going to have record turnout here.”

MAGA War Room claimed that Haley and Sununu’s plan in New Hampshire creates a “whole new meaning to the term ‘Republican in Name Only.”

“Chris Sununu knows Democrats can’t vote in the Republican primary—it’s illegal,” MAGA War Room wrote. “Granite Staters had until October 6 to change their party registration for the primary. Sununu knows Democrats love to vote illegally and now he’s hoping they’ll do just that to decide the New Hampshire Republican primary.”

Sununu’s call for non-Republican voters to participate in the Republican Party’s primary election in New Hampshire was quickly met with backlash on social media.

One user commented, “This is so crooked. She’s really a Democrat in Republican clothing.” Another user stated, “The Uniparty in broad daylight. So desperate they’re laying all their cards on the table. No longer hiding behind the D vs R games. Shame on you @NikkiHaley >> proving power & control of the establishment is more important than the will of the people.”

READ MORE: Haley takes big lead over DeSantis in crucial state

Another social media user wrote that encouraging independents and Democrats to participate in the Republican primary election shows “desperation.”

According to NBC News, Sununu’s endorsement of Haley came after multiple Republican candidates spent months attempting to gain the governor’s support.

In a post on social media Tuesday, Sununu claimed that Haley is the Republican candidate who has “the momentum to win” and to “get our party back on track” in order to achieve “conservative victories across the country.”

“She’s answered our questions and built trust,” Sununu wrote. “Proud to endorse Nikki Haley for President and hope you’ll join me in this movement!”