Chris Christie's big re-election win in 2013 as a Republican governor in a blue state was, according to the Village Idiots, proof that he would be the man to beat in 2016. But a funny thing happened on the way to the White House.
Chris Christie, the voluble New Jersey governor, is once again facing the possibility that he might be relegated to the junior varsity debate — and rival Republican campaigns and outside observers say his window to re-enter the top tier of presidential candidates is closing fast.
Wednesday night’s scene in New Hampshire showed the daunting challenge ahead of Christie. As CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC covered Trump’s first town hall live — breaking only to run clips of Jeb Bush attacking the real estate tycoon — Christie was gasping for air on C-SPAN. Because the governor’s dimly lit event — a town hall at a restaurant outside of Manchester — was outdoors, the few viewers watching saw the candidate gradually disappear into darkness. The next day’s headlines duly focused on the Jeb-Donald contretemps, ignoring Christie’s play for a state he has made central to his fading White House hopes.
“He’s just not getting the traction that I think he was expecting,” said Andy Seale, the former chairman of the Republican Party in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire.
Christie has become such an also-ran that the Associated Press and the New York Times recently reassigned reporters dedicated to covering Christie — Jill Colvin and Kate Zernike — to other beats.
Then there are the polls.
If current trends hold, the New Jersey governor will likely lose his spot in the primetime CNN/Reagan Library debate on Sept. 16, displaced by a surging Carly Fiorina. As of mid-day Thursday, Christie was in 11th place among GOP presidential contenders in the RealClearPolitics average of national polls — behind Trump, Bush, Ben Carson, Gov. Scott Walker, Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen. Ted Cruz, Fiorina, Sen. Rand Paul, Gov. John Kasich, and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee.
On Tuesday, a new CNN/ORC poll found Christie in 11th place, with only 3 percent support among registered GOP voters. (A separate POLITICO analysis of the five most recent national polls that would factor into who would appear for the main debate finds Christie tied with Kasich for 10th place. For now.)
And with Trump owning the Straight Talk vote, said former New Jersey Gov. Thomas Kean, there’s little Christie can do to claw his way back.
“We’re all living in Trump world,” said Kean. “And Trump world is something none of these political gurus or any of these guys conceived of when they [started] running their campaigns.”
It's easy to blame Hurricane PMURT for Christie's self-destruction, but nowhere in this Politico article do we see the word "bridge", as in Bridgegate, the scandal that basically killed the Christie campaign in 2014.
Hell, I've counted Christie out since 2013. He's an awful candidate outside New Jersey.
And now, two years later, even Politico knows he's done.