Wayne Lesperance, a political science professor at New England College, points out that arguments about the need to win moderates and independents fell flat, even though such appeals have a history of success in the state.

“None of that carried the day,” Lesperance told me, chalking this up partly to Trump’s influence.

Lesperance pointed to a fascinating nuance. He noted that Sununu has repeatedly challenged Trump, which is one reason he’s popular with the New Hampshire electorate, including independents and some Democrats.

Yet when faced with this evidence of what has broad appeal, GOP voters went 180 degrees in the other direction, picking the Trumpiest candidates. “It’s denying reality,” Lesperance said.