Christie’s New Hampshire insurgency could save Trump’s skin

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Chris Christie is riding high(er) in New Hampshire at the moment, Save Jerseyans. His polling fortunes there are improving after getting a boost from the Union Leader, a newspaper that’s endorsement is historically good for a bump but not always indicative of who will win.

The real question: Is Christie any closer to winning for it? Or is the biggest winner Donald Trump?

christie vs trumpGovernor Christie did gain 6-points in last week’s new WBUR poll (to 12%) but Trump gained 4-points, too (now sitting at 27%). What’s more, Trump has consistently led the RCP average since July and doesn’t seem much affected by whoever is competing for second or third fiddle in the crucial first primary state. Remember: John Huntsman finished third there in 2012. Who? Exactly….

One wonders what could change the dynamic. February 9th is closing fast. A quarter of the GOP electorate nationally (and in New Hampshire) appear dead-set on using the Donald, as Norman Lear recently said, as a giant “middle finger” to the Republican Party. It doesn’t matter how many objectively dumb, uncouth or very un-conservative things the man says. Exacting political revenge on the Mitch McConnells of the world is a higher priority than saving the country from Hillary Clinton.

Plenty of folks hope an Iowa loss to Ted Cruz would destroy Trump’s mystique in the eyes of supporters infatuated with his “I’m a winner” narrative. Maybe, but the result in Iowa is even less predicative than New Hampshire. Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan all lost in Iowa in their respective successful presidential bids.

This year there’s little doubt that Christie’s emergence as a player in New Hampshire is far worse news for Marco Rubio than Donald Trump. His recent improvements are actually more likely to help keep the Trump challenger field as muddled as ever, encouraging long-shots who drain anti-Trump votes like Jeb Bush and John Kasich in the race longer than would otherwise be possible, than to put Christie in a real position to win.

So sure, Chris Christie’s team has a lot to be happy about given their candidate’s recent performance despite daunting odds. I’m just not convinced it’s going to change the end result.

Expect everyone who isn’t Trump to behave accordingly at Tuesday’s last-in-2015 GOP debate; fur will fly as Christie, Rubio, Cruz and the remainder try to take chunks out of each other to winnow down the field before it’s too late for a viable anti-Trump consensus candidate to emerge in the upcoming accelerated primary calendar season.


Matt Rooney
About Matt Rooney 8533 Articles
MATT ROONEY is's founder and editor-in-chief, a practicing New Jersey attorney, and the host of 'The Matt Rooney Show' on 1210 WPHT every Sunday evening from 7-10PM EST.


  1. Nicely done, Matt! In the course of just one blog post, you accelerated from idi0tic to full-blown delusional.

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