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2024 Presidential Election: Republican Candidate Chris Christie

Chris Christie is a seasoned politician. He got his undergraduate at the University of Delaware. Before going to law school at Seton Hall University, Christie worked as a lawyer before entering politics in 1995.

He became the US Attorney for the District of New Jersey in 2002, appointed by George W. Bush, lasting until 2008 before moving into the Governor’s office in 2010, defeating the incumbent Democrat. 

Governor of New Jersey

His governorship is two stories, starting as an extremely popular governor and ending as one of the least popular governors in history. His tenure as governor shifted the state right but maintained a much more moderate stance.

He maintained tax rates, reduced “bloat” in the state government, and took socially conservative positions on abortion, gay marriage, and marijuana. Christie did back legislation to appeal to non-Republicans.

Christie backed undocumented immigrants, allowing them access to benefits offered to all New Jersey residents, like in-state tuition. He outlawed gay conversion therapy and bump stocks.

Christie’s popularity did not come just from his appeal to all but from his response and handling of Hurricane Sandy, which devastated New Jersey. This response saw his popularity skyrocket to 77%. He captured 60% of the vote in 2013, winning 11% more than his 2009 victory. 

Scandal 

The decline in Christie’s popularity came from his numerous scandals and his 2016 Presidential campaign. The first major scandal stemmed from political appointees and a staff member shutting down a portion of George Washington Bridge for multiple days, causing major backups and delays. Chris’ involvement is unknown.

Witnesses testified that he knew, while Christie claimed he did not know. The residents of New Jersey blamed him and his popularity dropped by 35%. Christie had filed to run for President in 2016 during the fallout of the scandal.

This action soured the mouths of New Jersey residents even more, with 77% believing Christie cared more about furthering his political career, rather than governing. Christie would crash out of the 2016 race after a disappointing sixth-place finish in New Hampshire.

Christie’s approval rating would continue to drop, falling to 15% in June 2017. He would not do any favors for himself, as he would go to a beach that had been shut down to the public due to a government shutdown. 

Stances & Current Campaign

Christie would continue his moderate conservative agenda from his governorship. However, Christie’s campaign is more focused on Trump rather than policy. Christie has been an outspoken opponent of Trump since Trump’s claim of election fraud in 2020.

He blamed Trump for the Republican’s underperformance in the 2022 midterms. His polling numbers have been lackluster, polling at just 2.4%. However, his campaign did break the threshold for donations to make it to the debate stage in August.