First on NH1 News; Christie making two trips to NH in April
CONCORD - Chris Christie appears to be picking up the pace.
NH1 News was first to report on Twitter Tuesday that the New Jersey governor and likely Republican presidential candidate will be making a two-day swing through New Hampshire April 14-15. And that visit comes just a couple of days before Christie returns to speak at the first major cattle call in the first-in-the-nation primary state of probable GOP White House contenders.
A Christie political said that during his two day trip, Christie will meet with community leaders "to discuss important issues facing our country like entitlement reform."
On April 17, Christie is back in the Granite State to speak at the NHGOP's "First in the Nation Republican Leadership Summit." The two-day confab, which is being held at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Nashua, is attracting almost every major likely GOP presidential candidate, with the exception of former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, a 2012 GOP White House candidate, and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.
Christie made numerous trips to New Hampshire during last year's midterm election season, to campaign for GOP gubernatorial nominee Walt Havenstein, in his role as chairman of the Republican Governors Association. Christie also stumped for former Sen. Scott Brown, the Republican Senate nominee.
Samantha Smith, communications director for Leadership Matters for America PAC, a political action committee launched by Christie in advance of any formal presidential campaign, said in a recent statement that "over the last few years, Governor Christie has been to New Hampshire almost a dozen times to support strong Republican candidates. He is looking forward to having the opportunity to discuss the need for strong leadership at all levels of government, as well as how the party can achieve real results for hard working middle-class Americans."
New Hampshire is seen as a crucial state for Christie if he does end up running for the GOP nomination, as expected. It's Republican electorate is considered slightly more moderate than Iowa, which kicks off the caucus and primary calendar. And with the race for the Democratic nomination possibly turning into a coronation for Hillary Clinton, many of New Hampshire's sizable block of independent and unaligned voters may set their sights on the GOP primary battle.
Matt Mowers, who stepped down as executive director of the NHGOP in January, is Christie's top political advisor in New Hampshire.
Once considered a front-runner for the GOP nomination, Christie has weathered numerous political storms since easily winning re-election in November 2013 to a second term as New Jersey governor. According to a new Franklin Pierce University/Boston Herald poll of those likely to vote in next year's New Hampshire GOP primary, Christie's in fourth place, at 10%, trailing former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (15%) and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (10%), and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky (13%), and slightly ahead of Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas (9%).
A Suffolk University survey released last week indicated Christie tied with Cruz at 5% support among likely GOP primary voters, trailing Bush (19%), Walker (14%), Paul (7%) and real estate mogul and reality TV star Donald Trump (6%).