Donald Trump has a new contender to worry about these days: Chris Christie.
The former governor of New Jersey placed second in a poll of Republican voters in New Hampshire released by Emerson College on Tuesday. Securing 9% of support from the 498 Republicans polled, Chris Christie beat Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida by a singular point.
Both men trail far behind frontrunner Trump, who was the first choice for 49% of GOP voters. However, the latest poll marks a significant change from his nearest rival being the Governor of Florida, with Chris Christie runner-up for the first time in his campaign.
“DeSantis has been the alternative to Trump in Emerson polling this presidential cycle. This is the first time we have seen DeSantis drop out of second place in our polling, and fall back into the pack of candidates,” said Spencer Kimball, executive director of Emerson College Polling.
Chris Christie: A New Hope in New Hampshire
Christie’s experience as a Republican governor in a Democratic state has also worked in his favor, something he acknowledged in a CNN town hall in June. “I governed in a blue state, and made things happen,” he told Anderson Cooper.
New Hampshire was the state which prompted Christie to suspend his campaign in the 2016 primaries, so it’s likely to be one of personal significance for the 62-year-old. In a race where he offers a more moderate conservative alternative to Trump and DeSantis, Christie may be hopeful of a strong showing in New Hampshire – one of the first caucuses in the cycle – to help build momentum heading into the following primaries.
Elsewhere in New Hampshire
“President Biden’s support has strengthened in New Hampshire since March,” Kimball added in response to the survey. “The President’s approval increase is fueled by a more unified approval among his party – 82% of Democrats approve of the job the President is doing, a 14-point increase from March.”
The incumbent’s support remains strong for the Democratic primaries, which Joe Biden is expected to win. He remains the first choice for 65% of New Hampshire Democrats, more than 50 points ahead of second-placed Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
The President retains the lead ahead of Trump in hypothetical presidential matchups. With no other candidates on the ballot, Biden maintains a seven-point advantage over his likely Republican rival with 48% support. However, third party candidates can disrupt a two-horse race, and Biden’s lead over Trump is reduced to five points when Green Party candidate Cornel West is included on the ballot.
Shay Bottomley is a British journalist based in Canada. He has written for the Western Standard, Maidenhead Advertiser, Slough Express, Windsor Express, Berkshire Live and Southend Echo, and has covered notable events including the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
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