Nikki Haley campaigns throughout New Hampshire

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This is a joint project between Nexstar Media Group and Syracuse University.

AMHERST, N.H. (NEXSTAR) — The First in the Nation primary has the unique distinction of letting the candidates running for leader of the free world come right into your diners.

In the closing days of the campaign, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley is fighting for every last vote.

“The fact that Nikki’s the only one doing that I think gives her a huge upper hand in terms of closing the gap,” said New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu (R) who has endorsed Haley.

Sununu is touring the state with his preferred presidential candidate, one diner at a time.

“This is where you really make meaningful connections with a lot of the voters on the ground,” Sununu said, “people that normally wouldn’t come to a big political event. They’re just here having coffee.”

Al and Debbie Lacey came to see Haley at Mary Ann’s Diner. They were excited to get a selfie with her when she came in.

Melinda Tourangeau, a Haley volunteer, describes the ripple effect events like this can have.

“She makes a connection with two people. She had a seven-minute conversation with undecideds over here! Those two people are gonna tell two people, and those two people are gonna tell two people – they’re evangelizing for her!” Tourangeau said. “She is making a spark in this diner that is going to touch hundreds of people.”

Governor Sununu says these diner stops, a Granite State tradition, give Haley an edge over Trump on the trail.

“If you just do these big, you know, one big event a night like Trump does, I don’t even know if he’s here tonight, you don’t connect with anyone, right? This is how you earn it on the ground,” Sununu said.

Trump made just one appearance in the Granite State at a large rally in Concord.

Luke Radel is a sophomore at Syracuse University studying broadcast and digital journalism and political science.


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