Chris Christie Heads to NH as Poll Shows Him Leading GOP Presidential Pack

Image: Chris Christie Heads to NH as Poll Shows Him Leading GOP Presidential Pack (Kena Betancur/Stringer/Getty Images)

Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 02:44 PM

By Jennifer G. Hickey

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Shortly before New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie made his second trip to New Hampshire, the home of the first-in-the-nation primary, a new poll reported that he was the favorite among Republican presidential primary voters.

Christie, who was in the Granite State to attend a fundraiser, holds a narrow one percentage point lead over Texas Sen. Rand Paul with 13 percent of the vote in the latest CNN poll — a five-point bump from his showing in a June survey.

The poll has a three percentage point margin of error.

In the latest WMUR Granite State poll, Christie also tops the GOP field with 19 percent of the vote among primary voters. Texas Sen. Rand Paul comes in second with 14 percent and Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is third with 11 percent of the vote.

Christie's strength in the polls and among voters at events he has attended in his capacity as chairman of the Republican Governors Association is renewing speculation that he intends to run for the GOP nomination in 2016.

"There's no question there's an interest in the governor coming tomorrow. I think people are excited to see him, but just like any other potential candidate they are eager to meet him and ask questions and prod him," Jennifer Horn, the New Hampshire Republican Party chairwoman, told The Boston Herald.

A potential comeback by Christie is not being welcomed by everyone.

On July 16, the conservative Judicial Crisis Network announced its launch of a project intended to "highlight Governor Chris Christie's awful record on judicial appointments."

The group, which normally targets liberals and Democrats, also released television and online ads targeting Christie's record of appointing judges on the eve of recent campaign trip to Iowa, according to National Journal.

"Chris Christie has promised to change New Jersey's liberal Supreme Court," the spot says. "Over and over, he broke his promise."

And while "Bridge-gate" has been out of the headlines in recent months, New Jersey's Star-Ledger reported that attorneys appointed by the special legislative panel investigating the scandal have continued to interview potential witnesses who might be able to shed light into whether Christie was aware of plans to shut down George Washington Bridge to punish political opponents.

Christie's supporters believe the scandal has not permanently harmed the governor and believe it is a bridge he may have successfully crossed.

"All of these investigations [into Bridge-gate] … if there was something of any consequence, you can be sure somebody would have leaked it," Ken Langone, a Christie supporter and co-founder of Home Depot, told Politico.


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