By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog
The latest New Hampshire tracking poll finds Marco Rubio in 2nd place with 15% and Chris Christie in 6th at 5%, Save Jerseyans, but in his last-ditch effort to score an upset in next Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary, Governor Chris Christie visited Fox News on Thursday morning to continue to try to reframe the Granite State contest as a battle between himself and the Florida Senator:
It’s not the worst strategy. Not necessarily the best either but I get it.
Christie 2016 must have polling telling them that Rubio voters’ second choice is Christie; unfortunately, not all of the recent polls asked that question. Governor Christie’s need to knock out Rubio is dire for reasons both obvious and under-the-surface of the water. The Governor’s own support, according to the aforementioned tracking poll, remains somewhat soft while Rubio’s backers are solidifying behind him:
Not reading too much into this because the sample size is like 23, but Christie has some of the least firm NH voters pic.twitter.com/oUVS05QM6w
— Matt Friedman (@MattFriedmanNJ) February 4, 2016
We’ll find out whose theory is right soon enough.
For now, trying to look at this objectively, my biggest practical (not moral) problem with the Governor’s substantive attack remains that the whole thing smacks of professional wrestling play-acting. These guys were saying very nice stuff about each other – and endorsing each other – a blink of the eye before trying to disqualify one another. Bush and Rubio are BFF’s one second then Bush hits him with a proverbial folding chair and slams his head into a turnbuckle. So it doesn’t quite seem genuine given the timing of these governors’ concerns over Marco’s alleged lack of gravitas, right? Credibility is the issue. Not with you or me but the folks up north being bombarded by these ads.
Just last July, for example, Christie and Rubio were hanging out together over Independence Day Weekend with Mitt Romney at this New Hampshire retreat. They were buddies until about 5 minutes ago.
And then there’s Jeb! who endorsed his former apprentice for VICE PRESIDENT back in 2012, telling Fox News’s Chris Wallace that Rubio had ample experience to be a heart beat away from the presidency:
The real question: Will N.H. voters suddenly start prizing “experience” over shared values/electability when this entire cycle has revolved around a protest vote?
Maybe, but I’d be somewhat surprised by it. I actually think the governors run the real risk of unintentionally buoying Marco support with conservatives by belittling him, hurting Ted Cruz in the process more than Team Rubio.