Chris Christie’s not-quite-formal presidential campaign is finding its pathway to winning election just a little steeper every day. The latest bad news comes from the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
Chris Christie’s nascent presidential campaign is losing momentum before it’s even formally announced, the New York Times says today. The result? Big-money donors are turning instead to rival candidates, like Jeb Bush, to support.
Policy advisers, donors and even a prominent New Jersey state senator who met his wife through Mr. Christie have all flirted with or committed to rival candidates. One potential donor, Woody Johnson, the billionaire owner of the New York Jets, will back Jeb Bush, according to three people close to the Bush campaign. Mr. Johnson attended a round of Bush fund-raising events on Wednesday in Chicago, where the former Florida governor acknowledged him by name.
In Iowa and New Hampshire, Mr. Christie’s negative ratings in some opinion polls are higher than his favorable ones. He has been slower than Mr. Bush to lock down support within the Republican Party’s pool of big-name “bundlers,” and it is unclear how quickly Mr. Christie is amassing cash. A spokesman declined to say, or even provide a range for, how much money the governor’s leadership political action committee has raised.
On Wednesday morning, Quinnipiac University released its latest poll, this one pitting Hillary Clinton against leading Republican White House contenders in Colorado, Iowa and Virginia, three of the pivotal “swing states” in the general election. And Clinton crushes New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in all three of those states. Read more »
Last week, Larry Wilmore threw a bag of weak tea at Sen. Cory Booker when Booker said he didn’t want to run for president — nobody believed Booker’s ambitions stop in the Senate, after all.
Booker may get an opportunity to test those ambitions sooner than expected.
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Chris Christie has started his own political action committee, the latest — perhaps best — signal that he’s preparing to run for president in 2016.
“The launch of the PAC, called Leadership Matters for America, is the clearest sign yet that Mr. Christie is running,” the Wall Street Journal reports. “It allows Mr. Christie to assemble a team of about a dozen staffers and fundraisers who could support a potential run for president, as well as to raise money that can be used to contribute to like-minded political candidates.”
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Chris Christie is having a hard time hanging onto the support of his home state as he considers a run for the presidency.
“Nearly three in five registered voters in New Jersey do not think their governor, Republican Chris Christie, would make a good U.S. president, according to a poll released on Thursday,” Reuters reports. “Overall, 57 percent of the registered voters polled said they did not think Christie, who prides himself on his blunt, sometimes combative, speaking style, would make a good president. That included nearly a third of registered Republicans, 78 percent of Democrats and 59 percent of independents.”
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Chris Christie knows how to raise cash. But that’s turning out to be of little help to the New Jersey GOP, whose coffers have been depleted by legal fees spent during Christie’s “Bridgegate” scandal.
“The net worth of the New Jersey Republican Party is at its lowest point in years as it covers legal bills connected to the George Washington Bridge investigation, according to campaign reports disclosed Tuesday,” the Wall Street Journal reports. “The New Jersey Republican State Committee had a net worth of $25,818 at the end of last year, excluding its federal campaign account and when accounting for $527,731 in debt, the bulk of it related to bridge-related legal expenses. That is down from $399,863 in net worth at the conclusion of 2013 and $152,920 at the end of 2012, past reports show.”
That poor state of affairs isn’t due to a lack of fundraising prowess. As chairman of the Republican Governors Association during the 2014 election cycle, Christie reportedly raised more than $106 million — although the group spent more than that, $130 million, in an all-out effort to win races.
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If he’s running for president in 2016, Chris Christie will have to play catch-up. Jeb Bush’s “exploration” of entering the presidential campaign has put him 10 points ahead of the New Jersey governor in a new poll.
Bush was the pick of 23% of Republicans surveyed in the nationwide poll, 10 points ahead Christie. Physician Ben Carson is third at 7%, followed by Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
Christie, who had a 9% showing in November, gave mixed signals earlier this month about entering the presidential race, or when he would enter it.
“I’ve made no mystery of the fact that I’m thinking about running for president, but I’ve also made no mystery of the fact that I’m not going to make any decision until well into next year,” he said (earlier this month).
On the bright side: The same poll showed Christie with just 9 percent support in November.