Governor Christie is back in New Hampshire, the essential stomping grounds for Republican presidential hopefuls. The first presidential primary will be held here tentatively on January 26. According to P2016 from 2013 onward 20 Republicans have already spent 163 days in the state. Christie has spent nine days.
He is not faring well here. According to Real Clear Politics’ the most recent poll on the NH primary has Christie at 3% – ahead of only Santorum (2%.) Christie reached a recent high in March at 10%. As he would say, it’s still early in the cycle.
His campaign here is managed by Matt Mowers who used to work in the now defunct Intergovernmental Affairs Office under then Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Kelly. There are reports of Mowers meeting in early 2013 with Fort Lee Mayor Sokolich regarding a possible Christie reelection endorsement. Kelly called Mowers to inquire about the status of Sokolich’s potential endorsement before sending that email to David Wildstein. Prior to his current position he served as the Executive Director of the NH Republican State Committee.
It is easy to get lost among the stampede and not receive much local press attention if a candidate is not in a high tier. Today’s Manchester’s Union Leader has only a brief mention: “Texas Gov. Rick Perry and N.J. Gov. Chris Christie are both in New Hampshire today and Friday as they consider launching campaigns for the Republican nomination.” A New Hampshire Channel 7 news article yesterday has three sentences mentioning his visit and noting, “Two of Christie’s former aides have been indicted and another has plead guilty to their involvement in the scandal.” Not exactly the type of news which helps a campaign.
One of his more interesting events in NH might be tomorrow when he is holding a “Town Hall” – his seemingly tried and true format, but one which has lost its glow in NJ. It will be in Dover at Fury’s Publick House – his first such event in an alcohol establishment. Will a few drinks bring out maudlin loving support, uninhibited opposition, and even fury? Stay tuned.