Republican presidential candidate and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie speaks to voters at the Heritage Action Presidential Candidate Forum Sept. 18, 2015 in Greenville, SC. 
Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty

The Christie Comeback will have to wait

A few months ago, Salon’s Simon Maloy launched something he called the “Christie ‘comeback’ tracker.” Apparently, about once a month or so, some news outlet or sympathetic pundit will assure the political world that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) has overcome his many problems and the governor’s bid for national office is finally on track.
Simon’s list isn’t short. After 11 separate Christie “comebacks” over 12 months, the Salon writer added, “All that’s been missing has been the actual comeback.”
With this in mind, I couldn’t help but notice the Politico homepage on Friday, which featured this headline: “Chris Christie returns from the dead.” The piece didn’t literally use the phrase “comeback,” but it did tell readers, “At long last, Chris Christie’s campaign is showing a pulse.”
But it’s really not. The latest Fox News poll shows Christie’s national support dropping from 5% to 1% – he’s now tied with George Pataki, who’s not really trying. And then there’s the governor’s showing in his home state.
Republican support for Governor Christie’s White House bid has dropped by 50 percent in New Jersey over the past two months, while an increasing percentage of the state’s conservatives is backing national front-runner Donald Trump, according to a Rutgers-Eagleton poll released Thursday.
As the Bergen Record reported, the leading GOP candidate in the Garden State is Trump, with a very strong 32% showing, up from 21% in August from the same pollster. He’s followed by Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz.
And then there’s Christie with just 5% of the Republican vote – in his home state.
Making matters just a little worse, the same poll found that 67% of the governor’s constituents believe he should quit the presidential race altogether.
A few months ago, Fox’s Megyn Kelly reminded the governor that two-thirds of his own constituents do not believe he’d be a good president. Christie replied, in reference to New Jersey residents, “They want me to stay. A lot of those people that 65 percent want me to stay. I’ve heard that from lots of people at town hall meetings, ‘Don’t leave,’ and ‘Don’t run for president because we want you to stay.’”
As we discussed at the time, there is a point at which the line between arrogance and delusion blurs.