A top ally of former Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski has released a new poll aimed at convincing him to run for Senate — and at swaying the president to endorse him.
The survey, which was commissioned by Lewandowski confidante and Citizens United President David Bossie, shows that the former Trump aide would become the Republican front-runner if he runs and that an endorsement from the president further boost his standing.
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The poll comes as Trump is set to head to New Hampshire for a political rally on Thursday. There is widespread speculation in New Hampshire and Washington political circles about whether the president will use the rally to endorse or talk up Lewandowski, who is weighing jumping into the Republican primary to take on Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.).
Former state House Speaker Bill O’Brien has entered the Republican contest, as has Don Bolduc, a retired brigadier general. But defeating Lewandowski would be a tall order especially if he has the backing of Trump, who has near-universal support among Republicans in the state.
Trump aides say they’re unsure what the famously unpredictable president will say about the New Hampshire Senate race on Thursday.
The survey of 400 likely primary voters was conducted Aug. 11-Aug. 12 by Tony Fabrizio, who separately serves as a top pollster on the president’s reelection campaign. Lewandowski leads a prospective primary matchup with 30 percent, followed by Bolduc at 11 percent and O’Brien 10 percent.
“Corey Lewandowski would enter the race as the GOP front-runner — leading the field by double digits due to his stronger personal ratings. He could clearly see his lead expand even further with an endorsement from President Trump, who is extremely popular with these GOP voters,” Fabrizio writes in a memo accompanying the poll’s release, a copy of which was obtained by POLITICO.
Overall, 37 percent expressed a favorable view of Lewandowski while 16 percent said they had an unfavorable one. The poll did not test a prospective general election.
A Bolduc aide disputed the numbers, saying their own polling showed Lewandowski fairing far worse and trailing Shaheen in a general election.
In a brief interview on Tuesday afternoon, Bossie did not deny that he was trying to prod Lewandowski into the race or that he was attempting to encourage the president to endorse him.
“I hope this poll educates Corey as to where he stands in New Hampshire, and I think the president knows that he has no greater ally than Corey Lewandowski,” Bossie said. “I would expect he would fully endorse Corey if and when he gets in the race.”
Lewandowski, who served as Trump’s first campaign manager during the 2016 campaign, now works as a Washington lobbyist and is one of the president’s most recognizable on-air surrogates. Bossie argued that a Lewandowski bid would energize the conservative base in a key 2020 state. The Trump campaign has zeroed in on New Hampshire after narrowly losing it in 2016, and Republicans are also looking to oust Shaheen.
Not all senior Republicans are sold on a Lewandowski Senate effort, however. Some worry that his lobbying career could come back to haunt him in a statewide campaign as could his past history of controversial statements.