In a shocking and unexpected decision, New Hampshire Republican Governor Chris Sununu announced Tuesday morning that he will not challenge Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan next year and will instead seek a fourth term as governor.

Sununu was perhaps the most prized recruit the NRSC and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell worked to get, as the political scion has won three two-year terms in the blueish state, including a 32 point win last November even as Joe Biden won the Granite State by seven points. Republicans and Democrats alike that we spoke to had widely expected Sununu to run for Senate.

Like many governors across the country, Sununu’s approval ratings had spiked last year amidst the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, though they’ve since come back down. A University of New Hampshire poll released at the end of October showed Sununu’s favorability at 41% favorable to 36% unfavorable, while Hassan was far underwater at 33% favorable to 51% unfavorable. The hypothetical head-to-head race between the two showed Sununu up, 45%-42%. Another recent survey from St. Anselm College gave Sununu a

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