Christie sizes up New Hampshire

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    Possible 2016 presidential candidate Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie scratches his head as he talks to patrons of the One Mile West restaurant Thursday in Sunapee

    Possible 2016 presidential candidate Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie scratches his head as he talks to patrons of the One Mile West restaurant Thursday in Sunapee

    One week after two close allies were indicted and another appointee pleaded guilty to charges pertaining to Bridgegate, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie continues to assess his viability as a Republican presidential candidate.

     

    Days-long traffic jams aren’t common in New Hampshire, which is where Newsworks Tonight host Dave Heller found WYNC’s Matt Katz.

    Although Christie hasn’t officially announced a presidential run, he’ll be returning to New Hampshire week after week to lay the groundwork for a possible campaign. The Bridgegate scandal has grown a large amount of criticism for the governor in New Jersey and the surrounding states, but its impact is barely noticable in the Granite State where traffic jams usually aren’t an everyday occurrence.

    “They are aware of it. It’s in the ether here. They call it ‘the bridge thing,’” Katz says. On the rare occasion that the scandal is brought up with Christie, it’s seen as a non-issue, a media-contrived controversy when compared to something like Benghazi, he said.

    But that doesn’t mean New Hampshire is full of love for Christie, who is now pollling at 3 percent. Bridgegate may not be a hot-button topic in the state, but it’s still tarnished his image.

    “Flying around the country on the dime of the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, Jerry Jones, I think that has also given a sense to people that he may not be the best choice,” adds Katz.

    The numbers aren’t dissuading the Christie camp. “Diner stop by diner stop, they think Christie can win these people over,” Katz says.

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