Trump still leads NH, but Christie rising

11 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Chris Christie surges to second place in New Hampshire.

WASHINGTON – Chris Christie, who’s been struggling to gain traction in the GOP presidential race, has made a strong move in New Hampshire and is in second place behind Donald Trump, according to a poll released Friday. TRENTON — A state Senate committee Thursday approved legislation to ask voters to revise the New Jersey constitution to require the state ratchet up contributions to the public pension system. Though he condemned Donald Trump’s call to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the U.S., Christie said during a television interview this week people shouldn’t “attack” the supporters of his Republican presidential rival. The latest Rutgers poll, published yesterday, shows the scandal-plagued governor’s approval rating sinking to just 33% in his home state – an all-time low.

Christie was at 12 percent among Republicans who had decided on a candidate or were leaning toward someone in the poll taken by Dec. 6-8 Boston public radio station WBUR. Trump, the GOP front-runner who told a gathering of Jewish Republicans last week that he would be visiting Israel and meeting its prime minister later this month, has apparently called off the trip.

The good news for Christie comes on the heels of the influential, conservative–leaning New Hampshire Union Leader newspaper recently announcing its support for the governor, news that was seen as a lifeline for his sputtering presidential bid. A state Assembly committee approved a bill Thursday that would prohibit tobacco and electronic vaping product retailers in New Jersey from selling to young adults under the age of 21 instead of age 19. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Carly Fiorina have drifted down below 4 percent (the number that would fulfill one of three possible criteria for the main debate on Dec. 15) while Ohio Gov.

Trump’s 27% is the strongest support any Republican candidate has had in any WBUR poll conducted this year, suggesting his support in the Granite State is actually getting stronger. First, there are the leading three (Trump, Cruz and Rubio) and one other (Carson in Iowa and Christie in New Hampshire) doing much better than the rest of the field. Marco Rubio, who had tied retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson for second place in November with 13 percent, was in third place with 11 percent, unchanged within the poll’s margin of error of 4.9 percentage points. But with Christie moving up, and six Trump rivals auditioning for the role of anti-Trump, Republican officials are left once again to smack their foreheads in disgust, despairing at their misfortune. Christie, a former federal prosecutor who has made the war on terrorism a centerpiece of his campaign, has benefitted from an increased worry by voters about the Islamic State and foreign policy following the attacks in Paris.

This is also the case if Cruz were to beat out Trump as the non-mainstream candidate because he has so very little appeal with moderates and somewhat-conservative Republicans. The 2012 exit polls show the electorate tipped toward those with a college education (55 percent) and with higher incomes (only 26 percent were in the $50,000 or less category).

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