What Went Wrong for Chris Christie in Iowa?
Just 1 percent of likely Iowa GOP primary voters who participated in a July 20 Monmouth University poll said Gov. Chris Christie was their first choice for president. Only 2 percent named him as their second choice. The poll's director said it seemed as though Christie has given up on Iowa.
"Gov. Christie is not doing well at all in Iowa," said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. "He obviously tried to make a run there earlier in the year, spending a lot of time there. He still goes to Iowa on occasion, but it seems that he is not building any type of organization there to help him with the caucuses."
In the survey, 51 percent of voters had an unfavorable opinion of Christie, which was the highest unfavorability rating among the 17 candidates mentioned in the poll.
"He made a play out in Iowa, and he had some help from Steve King, who's a very conservative representative out in Iowa; it just didn't pan out for him," Murray said. "He couldn't overcome those doubts that the conservative voters in Iowa have about him and his credentials as a true conservative."
Conservative Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker garnered the most support among those who identify themselves as members of the tea party (27 percent) or are very conservative (22 percent), evangelicals (17 percent), men (24 percent), and voters over the age of 50 (25 percent).
If Christie can make it to Super Tuesday on March 1, Murray said his next issue will be raising money. He said the lead-up to Super Tuesday is an advertising campaign where candidates educate voters about their policy positions and records, and Christie doesn't have the money for that right now. His strategy of holding town hall events in New Hampshire, Murray said, is by contrast a very low-cost, one-on-one campaign style.
In early 2015, well before he officially launched his presidential campaign, Christie spoke to a group of social conservatives in Iowa and told them what they could expect from him.
"If you want a candidate who agrees with you 100 percent of the time, I'll give you a suggestion: Go home and look in the mirror. You are the only person you agree with 100 percent of the time," Christie said. "You'll always know who I am, you'll always know what I believe, and you'll always know where I stand."