Since the bridge scandal I can’t see how Gov. Chris Christie makes a case to top donors, campaign workers, politicians, and activists about why they should get behind him early. Their support is critical for building an effective campaign team.
Before the scandal Christie had two solid arguments based on electability and being the perceived front runner. Betting on the winning horse early can pay off big. Both of those arguments are now gone.
His national favorablilty rating plummeted and is now significantly negative. The latest ABC/Washington Post poll also confirms that he no longer has any special advantage in the general election. In a hypothetical match up against Hillary Clinton he loses 41 percent to 53 percent.
The scandal has also damaged him in the Republican primary. The same poll found him in third place, well behind Paul Ryan and Jeb Bush. He is just another possible candidate instead of the clear front runner.
Without these two advantages I don’t see anything special he offers potential backers. The economic performance of New Jersey is nothing to brag about. There are many other viable choices who are ideologically more pure, and they don’t have Christie’s lobbyist baggage.
It is way too early to call his potential run dead, but it has likely become much more difficult for him to build the campaign structure he needs.
Photo by Gage Skidmore, used under Creative Commons license