Chris Christie’s 2016 prospects stuck in neutral, latest polls suggest
In a new CBS News survey, 43 percent of respondents indicated they would not consider supporting Christie, while a paltry 28 percent said they were behind the Garden State governor.
In contrast, 49 percent of Republicans indicated in the same poll they would consider backing former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and 46 percent said they would think about throwing their support behind former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
Ben Dworkin, political science professor at Rider University, believes Christie is struggling for several reasons.
"New Jersey's economy hasn't been as robust as anybody wants," he said. "In fact, we're doing worse, comparatively, to all of the states that surround us."
Dworkin also said Christie's recent trip to London was overshadowed by his comments about parental choice when it comes to vaccines.
"He's making trip after trip out of the state, which just means he can't cultivate his own support here at home," Dworkin said.
And then there's Bridgegate.
According to Dworkin, the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal has taken its toll as well, even though most Republicans believe Christie is telling the truth when he says he had nothing to do with it.
"What the issue has done is that it effectively wasted 2014 as a year to get real accomplishments," Dworkin said. "Christie won the last election with 60 percent of the vote, he was on the cover of Time magazine, and a month and a half later, it was all gone. It had all dissipated because of the Bridgegate scandal. Effectively, it took the wind out of his sails."
When asked if he felt Christie's no-nonsense style was hurting him, Dworkin said not one bit.
"It is one of his best attributes because it makes him different," he said.
Dworkin also said the struggle Christie is going through right now isn't surprising.
"People always look better before they really get into a race and then once they start being active, all of the various criticisms come," he said. "Just because we're seeing these levels of support now, it doesn't mean he can't win in Iowa and New Hampshire a year from now."