Like other candidates who have left the Republican presidential race like Gov. Bobby Jindal and Gov. Scott Walker, it time for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to do likewise. Polling data out this past weekend shows Christie is barely alive in the crowded field. The ABC News poll has him at just 2 percent.
Furthermore, in last week’s Farleigh Dickinson University poll of New Jersey voters, they showed the native governor in an embarrassing fourth place. He trailed the leaders, Trump and Carson and Rubio in fourth place. He is in seventh place in New Hampshire, right in his backyard. He has mounted a massive effort in the Granite State which is basically do or die.
If, by some miracle, Christie survives New Hampshire, in the next primary in South Carolina he barely registers 1 percent. He has put out an admirable campaign in Iowa and New Hampshire and surely gotten fair media and debate time, but the writing is on the wall.
It’s incredible how far the mighty have fallen in just three short years. Where has the effervescent and popular governor from a blue state that carried both the GOP base and brought many Democrats into his fold? What are the real reasons?
The political slide began back in August, 2008 when he gave the keynote speech at the 2012 Republican Convention in Tampa, FL. It became obvious at that time that Christie was flustered at not being picked by Mitt Romney to be his running mate. Christie gave a speech that barely mentioned either Obama or Romney. He talked mainly of himself, his mother and other irrelevant topics for a speech meant to unite the party.
He didn’t help matters during Romney’s fall campaign as he did everything but endorse Obama for re-election a few days before the polls opened in 2012, touring the state in the aftermath of Sandy. The Republican National Committee was, to say the least, furious with Christie. Donors to his campaign for re-election dried up as did many loyal followers of both parties.
At the time of the Sandy disaster, all indicators showed Romney ahead in the polls. Obama had huge and almost insurmountable negatives. Americans believed the nation was moving in the wrong direction. That was the precise time that Chris Christie praised Obama for his leadership.
That directly led Obama’s numbers surging as Christie Obama was surely cured of his partisan image. Christie had even denied Romney’s request to tour the Sandy-damaged area. Christie himself won re-election, even over the GOP furor with him.
At present, three years after the election and despite several impressive debate performances, Christie has gone nowhere except down in the polls. It seems Republicans have a long memory. They cannot forget that unforgiveable hug of Obama at a crucial moment.
In-between the 2012 election and present day, Christie experienced the embarrassing Bridgegate scandal. Even though he was exonerated, public doubt of his tenure as governor reached all-time highs in state polling. His staffers closed lanes of traffic on the George Washington Bridge to bury Ft. Lee, New Jersey. It was to punish the city’s mayor for not endorsing Christie. The public has not forgotten it and still hold him responsible no matter what all the commissions said.
Christie has been judged in the court of opinion which is the final verdict. It’s time for Christie to bow out and return to being governor, period.