Former NJ Gov. Chris Christie drops out of 2024 presidential race
Chris Christie is out!
The former New Jersey governor is ending his bid for president.
Christie made the announcement during a town hall event Wednesday evening in New Hampshire.
The Republican has made opposing former President Donald Trump the centerpiece of his struggling campaign.
Christie, whose poll numbers have consistently been between 10-15%, had faced calls to drop out in order to consolidate support around former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who is running second to Trump.
A CNN/UNH Granite State Poll cuts Donald Trump's lead over Nikki Haley to just seven points, 39%-32%. Chris Christie comes in third with 13%, Vivek Ramaswamy at 8% and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis with 5%.
Another poll by USA Today/Boston Globe/Suffolk University shows Trump with a large lead over Haley 46%-26%, Christie with 12%, DeSantis with 8% and Ramaswamy at 2%.
Republicans will hold their first contest in Iowa during the Jan. 15 caucuses. The New Hampshire presidential primary is on Jan. 23.
Christie announced his decision in Windham, hours before two of his rivals, Haley and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, were set to meet for the fifth GOP presidential debate of the 2024 election cycle. It is the only debate that Christie did not qualify for.
The news comes as a surprise, given that Christie had staked the success of his campaign on New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary, which is less than two weeks away. He had insisted as recently as Tuesday night that he had no plans to leave the race, rebuffing growing calls for him to step aside as he continued to cast himself as the only candidate willing to directly take on the former president.
“I would be happy to get out of the way for someone who is actually running against Donald Trump,” he said at a town hall in Rochester, New Hampshire, while arguing that none of his rivals had stepped up to the plate.
“I’m famous enough. ... I’ve got plenty of titles. ... The only reason to do this is to win,” he added. “So I’d be happy to get out of the way for somebody if they actually were going against Donald Trump.”
But Christie faced a stark reality: While recent polls showed him reaching the double digits in New Hampshire, Haley shows signs of momentum. A CNN/UNH poll conducted in the state this week found Trump’s lead down to the single digits, with 4 in 10 likely Republican primary voters choosing Trump and about one-third now choosing Haley.
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Gallery Credit: New Jersey 101.5