Size of Donald Trump's rally crowd mocked by Republicans – 'it wasn't even that big'

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu mocked the size of the crowd at former President Donald Trump's Saturday night rally ahead of the state's primary election.

Trump, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis are campaigning in New Hampshire, hoping to win over some last-minute voters ahead of Tuesday's primary. During Monday's Iowa caucuses, DeSantis and Haley had 21.2 percent and 19.1 percent voter support, respectively. Meanwhile, Trump won 51 percent of voters in Iowa.

“It wasn't a big rally. The guy had to screen half the stadium so it didn't look empty and then fly out of here,” Sununu, a Trump critic who endorsed Haley's presidential bid, told Kristen Welker during an interview on NBC News. Meet the press On Sunday.

However, contrary to the Republican governor's comments, Trump supporters on social media raved about the size of the crowd and the rally Saturday night at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester.

Claire Lopez, a board member of the Citizens Commission on National Security, posted on X, earlier on Twitter, Saturday: “No one in America today gets this kind of enthusiasm from people like President Donald Trump, rally after rally, all over the country.”

Lawyer and conservative columnist Elad Hakim wrote in X, “Good morning Sunday! Judging by the size of the crowd at yesterday's rally, it's safe to say Trump still has huge influence! NH primary is Tuesday! Trump supporters should get out and vote!”

Newsweek Sununu reached out to Haley and the Trump campaigns via email Sunday afternoon.

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2024 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump takes the stage at a campaign rally at SNHU Arena on Saturday in Manchester, New Hampshire. New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu mocked the size of the crowd at a Trump rally ahead of the state's primary election.
AFP/Getty Images

According to the Southern New Hampshire University Arena home page, the venue can hold about 12,000 people for centerstage concerts. Boston's CBS affiliate WBZ reported that total attendance figures for the event had not yet been released, after some Trump supporters from Saturday's rally reached capacity after 6 p.m.

Meanwhile, a New Hampshire poll released Sunday showed the former president leading Haley by 11 points in the Granite State. In early January, a CNN/University of New Hampshire (UNH) poll showed him trailing Trump by just 7 points.

Some pundits believe Haley should have a single-digit margin against Trump in New Hampshire before Tuesday's primary shifts to Haley's home state of South Carolina.

Haley faces an uphill battle in her home state, trailing Trump by an average of 52 percent and 21.8 percent, according to the RealClearPolitics polling average.

Director of The Winthrop Poll Initiative at Winthrop University in South Carolina, Dr. Scott Huffman said Newsweek On Saturday, “He should have an incredible showing in New Hampshire and be in the single digits. He's popular here. [in South Carolina] And there are incredibly favorable reviews. There are plenty of people here who love Nikki Haley who want Donald Trump back as president.

Trump was joined by South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, the state's lieutenant governor, attorney general, treasurer and House speaker at Saturday's rally. South Carolina representatives Joe Wilson, William Timmons, and Russell Frye also attended.

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“Every politician in South Carolina supports me,” the former president bragged at the rally.

During his time Meet the press During an appearance on Sunday, Sununu praised Hawley's ground game, compared to her rivals in this week's Republican primary.

“We're focused on the next 72 hours. He's going around the state, hitting every voter, and nobody else is doing it. He's doing it in a fundamentally different way,” he said.