How Can Chris Christie Top Donald Trump?
But that is the case right now, as The Donald's poll numbers continue to soar following the first Republican debate last week.
Gov. Christie has been itching to "tell it like it is" since his run began, but Trump beat him to the punch with his own brand of straightforward talk and media-worthy insults.
"Clearly, Donald Trump has stolen his M.O. and has really outdone Christie," said Brigid Harrison, professor of political science and law at Montclair State University. "In New Jersey, we all know that (Christie) probably originated the brand, but that does nothing to help his poll numbers."
In a post-debate online poll conducted by SurveyMonkey for NBC News, Trump garnered 23 percent of the support from Republican primary voters, up from 22 percent a week prior. Christie dropped two points to 1 percent of the vote.
While this may be Trump's moment to shine, Harrison said his star will eventually fade, following the path of past presidential primaries that didn't feature an incumbent.
"There tends to be a large number of celebrity flash-in-the-pan candidates who are at the top of their popularity, and then that dissipates," she said.
But then who will those Trump supporters turn to next?
The answer is Chris Christie, according to Matthew Hale with the Department of Political Science and Public Affairs at Seton Hall University.
"For a lot of Donald Trump supporters, Chris Christie is their second choice," he said. "So right now, Governor Christie is just trying to make sure he's a viable second choice for Trump supporters, and also picking off his own voters."
Hale said Trump's streak can only last so long, until the public starts looking for some real substance.
"There has to be somebody ready when that happens, and I think Governor Christie is trying to be that person," he said. "Sooner or later, Trump has to come out with some real proposals."
"Building a wall," as Hale explains, is not sound immigration policy.