Governor Chris Sununu is in trouble after his campaign gets off to a very bad start in the first week of the general election. Here are five reasons why:
1) The robust Democratic primary turnout
Democratic voters broke a record for turnout in a midterm primary, with 126,492 voters showing up to cast a ballot last Tuesday. With only 100,613 Republicans voting despite the party’s two competitive primaries for Congress, Sununu has plenty of reason to be worried about this election. Add that Democrats nominated an excellent candidate for governor in former State Senator Molly Kelly and things start to look pretty bad for Sununu.
2) His support for Brett Kavanaugh
When Brett Kavanaugh was initially nominated for the Supreme Court by President Trump, Governor Sununu signed onto a letter with 31 other Republican governors expressing his support for Kavanaugh’s nomination and urging the Senate “to move expeditiously to confirm his appointment.”
In light of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations of sexual assault against Judge Kavanaugh, Governor Sununu declined to withdraw his support for Kavanaugh, saying: "Of course we support him today,” going on to express his confidence that the Senate will “figure out what the truth of the matter is." Sununu's confidence in Congress seems to vary greatly when it's politically advantageous for him. Earlier this year, he said that everyone in Congress should be fired.
Governor Sununu has said that he has a ‘zero-tolerance policy’ when it comes to sexual misconduct. If he takes the allegations against Brett Kavanaugh seriously, as he claims to, he must withdraw his support for Kavanaugh’s nomination.
3) SB 365 veto override New Hampshire legislators of both parties proved last week that bipartisanship is alive and well when they united in opposition to Sununu’s irresponsible veto of biomass bill SB 365. Sununu’s veto threatened the livelihoods of thousands of Granite Staters and a dozen towns in economically vulnerable areas of our state. Sununu did this without a plan to help these people and these towns deal with the aftermath of his decision, all in service of the corporate special interests and utility companies that fund his campaign.
It’s a bad look for Sununu to be rebuked by over two-thirds of the legislature while he’s just beginning the make his case for re-election. After all, why should New Hampshire re-elect a governor who failed to earn the confidence of a bipartisan veto-proof majority of legislators?
4) Corporate money comment
In August, Governor Sununu made a revealing gaffe when he reflexively called paid family leave a “vacation.” Earlier this year, Sununu pledged to veto a paid family leave bill that was working its way through the state senate, inexplicably calling it an “income tax.”
As if we needed more proof that Sununu is out of touch with working families, last week he said: “I laugh at the Democrats when they say "we don't take corporate money," because no business would ever support you! Are you nuts?! Are you kidding me?!"
Democratic candidates like Molly Kelly, our nominee for governor, don’t take corporate donations because they don’t want even the appearance of being beholden to special interests. That’s not a concern for Sununu- significantly more than half his donations are from corporations and PACs, and you don’t have to look any further than his vetoes of two bipartisan renewable energy bills to see the influence that his corporate donors have over him.
5) “Team Sununu”
This one barely needs an explanation. Governor Sununu posted this photo on social media of “Team Sununu” before they spread out across New Hampshire to canvass for the governor. Did Sununu hire only men to work for him? Did no women apply? If they’re volunteers, did no women want to help elect Chris Sununu? Either way, it says a lot about Sununu and his campaign.