Depending on the poll New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is a solid 10th place out of a crowded pack of Republican Presidential contenders. More importantly 30 percent of national Republican primary voters had a favorable impression of Christie, while 45 percent had an unfavorable opinion.
It was not always this way.
There was a time, 2011-2012, when Gov Christie was the Republican in waiting for the White House. He was relevant, his brash style resonated with voters.
Fast forward to 2016, Donald Trump has assumed the role of Republican outspokenness. Christie is campaigning to be President. In reality Christie is campaigning to become relevant again.
The last four years have been a challenge for Christie. The Washington Bridge scandal was a devastating blow to his popularity. Even though wrongdoing was never proven, the scandal chipped away at his popularity.
“He had initially survived Bridgegate. Most Republicans saw that as a Democratic witch hunt,” Monmouth University pollster Patrick Murray said. “But then they didn’t see anything else about him that they particularly seemed to like.
He might have survived Bridgegate, but he was never going to be forgiven for the his appearance with and praise for President Obama when he visited the state in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Obama soundly defeated Mitt Romney in the 2012 Presidential Election a few days later and galvanized Christie as yesterday news in the eyes of many Republicans.
Christie’s popularity in his own state continues to wane with an approval raying of 36%. You don’t win national elections if you cant get out of your own state.
Christie thinks the polls are stupid as do most candidates when the polls aren’t in their favor.
Christie himself joked about his fall from the top tier of the Republican field at the Voters First Forum in New Hampshire yesterday.
“You saying I’m washed up?” quipped Christie in repsonse to a question about whether his candidacy window had come and gone.
Christie will find out he’ll qualify for Thursday’s crucial first GOP primary debate sponsored by Fox News, but his inclusion wont be about his candidacy for 2016. It will be about his return to relevancy, something that may be out of his reach.