It’s ‘Game Day’ — Will Christie’s New Hampshire Strategy Pay Off?
The future of Gov. Chris Christie's presidential campaign is on the line Tuesday as New Hampshire voters vote in the day's primary.
With the final poll released before the primary from Emerson College showing Christie in back of the GOP presidential pack at 6 percent, Christie held his 76th and final town hall meeting on Monday and then tweeted out a video of what he called his "closing argument."
He said that "the responsibility of commander in chief deserves a serious, sober, and responsible person." He also called the campaign an "entertaining one" but said now it's now "game time" as voters head to the polls.
It remains to be seen if Christie got a late bounce from his strong performance during Saturday night's final debate among Republican candidates, in which he unleashed an an attack on Sen. Marco Rubio. University of Southern New Hampshire political professor Dean Spiliotes told Townsquare Media the final CNN/WMUR poll showed 45 percent of Republican voters as undecided, and called Christie's biggest challenge getting past "the governors" of Jeb Bush and John Kasich.
“The races here in my many years covering New Hampshire primaries are always fluid and there’s always some kind of surprise the polls did not pick up,” Spiliotes said. “I’m sure it’s possible. I am sure that he’ll be going non-stop. There’s no silver bullet for him at this point beyond hoping that he gets some kind of bounce from the debate.”
During an earlier town hall at a Hudson factory on Monday, Christie got down on one knee on the dusty floor to listen to a question from undecided voter Ann Antosca. According to the Boston Globe, Christie got her vote and said it was “worth the dirty pants.”
He also got the endorsement of Cake Boss Buddy Valastro of Hoboken, who praised Christie's leadership in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and his ability to get things done. "We need someone who's going to cut through the bullcrap and bring people together."
Other visitors from New Jersey had a different view of the governor. Members of the New Jersey Amalgamated Transit Union held signs calling Christie "New Jersey's biggest loser" and "bad for New Jersey, bad for you" during a town hall in Hampstead according to the Asbury Park Press.
Christie called them his "favorite Democrats" according to the newspaper.
The polls will open at various times around the Granite State and close by 8 p.m. at the state's 319 polling locations.
New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner expects the total number of ballots to be cast Tuesday to top the records set in 2008, the last time both sides had contested races. That year, just over 241,000 ballots were cast in the GOP primary and just under 289,000 in the Democratic primary, which amounted to nearly 60 percent of registered voters.
On Tuesday, he's predicting 282,000 Republican ballots will be cast, and 268,000 Democratic ballots.
The Associated Press contributed to this report