While New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie lags in national polls, his presidential bid appears to be gaining traction in New Hampshire, which will hold the nation’s first primary in early February.
A new CNN/WMUR poll shows the Republican governor in third place behind Marco Rubio and front-runner Donald Trump. A separate Public Policy Polling survey shows Christie jumping from ninth in the Republican field to fourth last week.
WNYC Christie Tracker columnist Matt Katz, who has followed the campaign, said the New Jersey governor is also seeing bigger crowds at his town hall meetings. On Friday, Christie will host his 37th town hall meeting in New Hampshire.
Katz said New Hampshire voters are liking what they hear from Chris Christie.
Katz said a few events appear to be boosting Christie’s standing. The mass shootings in Paris and San Bernardino are giving Christie a chance to remind voters that he is a former federal prosecutor whose office pursued terrorism cases.
On the softer side, a video of Christie talking about the death of a college friend to drug addiction went viral. In it, Christie said those suffering from addiction need treatment not incarceration. Katz said the video has been viewed more than 8 million times.
Another key aspect of Christie’s rise in the polls is some key endorsements.
Katz is also a regular guest on The Christie Tracker Podcast, which is featured on NewsWorks every Wednesday morning. Before joining WNYC Katz covered Christie in his Christie Chronicles blog for the Philadelphia Inquirer. Katz is author of the forthcoming book “American Governor: Chris Christie’s Bridge to Redemption,” which will published next month.