Per NJ.com no one can match Governor Chris Christie’s (R-NJ) fundraising record last year. One thing is for sure: he knows how to raise funds and as a potential candidate for President people are taking notice.
In 2014 as the chairman of the Republican Governors Association he helped raised $106 million for the group. He also attended 109 fundraisers which crushed President Obama’s record of 71 the same year.
During his fundraising efforts his allies said he was just focusing on the November elections and not getting ready to run for president but in recent days it looks like that was not entirely true. Christie started a political action PAC in January called the Leadership Matters for America PAC. This is usually one of the defining steps politicians make before they decide to throw their hat in the ring. Also, from conversations I have had with some of his allies in New Jersey it seems to me it is very likely he is going to run.
The question is: will he win? Back in 2012 I would have said he had a very good chance of winning. His approval numbers were high, America loved him but fast forward to 2015 and Christie has some dings. Granted all politicians get dings along the way and sometimes when it comes election time voters forget about then. Will they forget about his? That is going to be one of the biggest problems he has if and when he does decide to run.
Those dings are: NJ is on the verge of bankruptcy, he is not always conservative on the issues, he has been investigated for the Bridgegate scandal and NJ is not friendly to businesses. These are undeniable facts. Are some of them due to the fact Democrats have been attacking him: yes but generally the voting public does not read that much into the situation. What will make or break Christie’s political aspirations is what the voters think when they hear his name. They are either going to remember him as the NJ savior or the guy who closed down a bridge and is not ultra conservative. I want to reiterate: he was found not guilty of closing down the bridge but as a little experiment ask your neighbors if they think he did, that will give you the public’s perspective.
I reached out to Matt Rooney, Blogger and Chief at SaveJersey.com to get his input on Christie’s potential run. When asked if he thought Christie would be a viable contender in 2016 he had the following to say:
The latest polls suggest that the Governor’s efforts to build a national network are actually undermining his national brand and his support at home.
Which is very true. Florida is having the same love-hate relationship with Senator Marco Rubio at the moment since he missed a lot of the Senate voting sessions this year.
Rooney also added:
You can’t count Chris Christie out in the social media age; he’s a skilled communicator and a sound byte champ. But he needs to come home, govern like a conservative, and salvage his brand if he wants to be competitive a year from now.
If Christie does decide to run it will be interesting to see if America’s love of the tough NJ Governor is still there and if he can overcome the shortfalls of his gubernatorial career. I am not going to say I do not think he has a shot; my prediction is he has an uphill battle but I have seen it accomplished before.