New Jersey Governor Chris Christie endorsed Donald Trump on Friday, giving the Republican front-runner more legitimacy to his campaign.
Before a Trump campaign rally in Texas, Christie held a press conference where he said that “The best person to beat Hillary Clinton in November on that stage last night is undoubtedly Donald Trump…They do not know the playbook with Donald Trump because he is rewriting the playbook.”
In June of last year, when Trump announced his candidacy, he was seen as an extreme longshot. With his rambunctious rhetoric and self-centered personality, almost nobody saw his quick rise to the top of the Republican race coming. It has become apparent over the course of the race (and many an offensive or fallacious statement) that nothing can put a dent in his support. His new set of rules for Republican politics has electrified the party’s voter base. Whereas ‘establishment politicians’ have treaded carefully so as not to risk their political careers, Trump has made leaps and bounds by saying exactly what is on the Republican voter base’s mind, no matter how far-fetched it might be. In their February 13th debate, the last of which Jeb Bush was a part of, Rubio, Cruz, and Bush all turned their attacks on Trump as they realized their time to take him down was running out. While more effective than in debates past, it was too little too late.
In head-to-head polling, it is generally a close matchup between Clinton and any of the Republican candidates, a frightening reality. Rubio and Cruz actually fare better in a race against Mrs. Clinton, polling suggests, winning out by 6 or 7 points in some cases. Currently, she maintains a manageable lead over Donald, with only a few polls declaring Trump the winner. As the Republican race narrows, and enthusiasm for Hillary diminishes, these numbers could tip in his favor, however. Bernie Sanders fares much better against all Republicans in General election polling, winning on average by anywhere from 4 to 10 points. Who wins the Presidency may come down to who wins the Democratic election. Bernie Sanders took a hit after losing in Nevada last week, and isn’t expected to do much better in South Carolina this Saturday. Super Tuesday may give him a boost if he can pull out young voters in large quantities like he’s done in the past.
While great for humor, his shot at the White House is real and deeply concerning. Even Republicans have to ask what has come of American politics when a reality TV show host is dominating the floor and getting endorsements from ‘real’ politicians.