Corey Lewandowski speaks during a Michigan rally for President Donald Trump in April 2018. | Scott Olson/Getty Images elections ‘Corey is a political hack’: Lewandowski Senate bid hits backlash in N.H. Republicans in the state fear Donald Trump will talk up a potential run by his bombastic former aide during a rally Thursday. By ALEX…
And Dave Carney, a longtime New Hampshire-based strategist who’s worked on an array of statewide Republican campaigns, called the idea of a Lewandowski candidacy a “joke.”
“He adds nothing to the ticket and doesn’t help the president or the ticket in any way,” Carney said. “Corey is a political hack. Political hacks make bad candidates generally.”
Tensions over Lewandowski are spilling into the open, with the state GOP establishment in near open revolt over the Trump loyalist’s prospective campaign. Some are voicing concerns about his personal baggage, pointing to everything from his March 2016 physical run-in with then-Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields to his messy property dispute with a neighbor.
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Republicans on both sides of the divide have launched a campaign to sway Trump ahead of the rally. In a gambit aimed at securing a presidential endorsement, David Bossie, an ally of Lewandowski’s, released a poll on Tuesday showing that he would become the front-runner if he were to run and that Trump’s support would solidify his standing.
The Bolduc campaign is racing to head off that prospect. Aides to the candidate this week presented the Trump team with their own survey results depicting Lewandowski in a dismal position. Just 15 percent of likely general election voters expressed a favorable view of the former Trump campaign manager and he trails Shaheen by double-digits in a matchup, according to the poll. The survey also presents a far more competitive primary contest, with Lewandowski and Bolduc tied at 21 percent.
Lewandowski, who served as campaign manager on former New Hampshire Sen. Bob Smith’s unsuccessful 2002 reelection campaign, first declared his interest in the Senate race earlier this month. He’s reached out to an array of senior Republicans in the days since to talk about how the race could unfold.
Greg Moore, who succeeded Lewandowski as the New Hampshire director of the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity, said he spoke with Lewandowski a little more than a week ago and came away with the impression that the Trump ally was leaning toward jumping in.
“I wouldn’t say it’s a done deal, but he’s certainly seems to be headed in that direction,” Moore said.
The president’s team has taken a keen interest in Lewandowski’s deliberations. After narrowly losing New Hampshire in 2016, the Trump campaign has launched an aggressive effort to win the state’s four electoral votes. Those close to the president envision Trump and Lewandowski waging a synchronized campaign focused on conservative and middle-class voters.
“I think Corey is a pretty powerful force in New Hampshire politics,” said Joshua Whitehouse, a former state representative who Lewandowski recruited onto the Trump 2016 campaign. “I couldn’t see anything but a positive effect on the whole ballot.”
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