Chris Christie, the former governor of New Jersey whom former President Donald Trump trounced in the 2016 presidential primaries, filed paperwork Tuesday to launch a bid for the Republican nomination.
Christie joins a crowded field of eight candidates, a field size that benefits Trump, some Republicans fear. Political commentators expect a total of ten candidates to vie for the nomination.
The former governor often tried to position himself as one of the strongest critics of Trump, but questions remain if Christie will have any impact on the large gap separating Trump and the other GOP hopefuls.
Polling appeared to be unmoved by Gov. Ron DeSantis’s entrance in the race on May 24. A Morning Consult survey on May 31 revealed Trump still held a 34 point lead over his closest potential competitor.
Despite the seemingly immovable gap, Christie recently claimed he is a “viable” candidate for the nomination. “I am the viable Trump alternative,” Christie recently told The Daily Beast.
Christie’s candidacy will immediately face challenges. He must meet the criteria set by the Republican National Committee to participate in debates: 40,000 unique donors, including “at least 200 unique donors per state or territory in 20+ states and/or territories,” per the press release.
He or she must poll at least one percent in three national polls or poll at one percent in two national polls, in addition to garnering one percent support in an early state poll.
RealClearPolitics survey averages for 2024 poll Christie at one percent. A CBS/YouGov survey in May found 70 percent of Republicans said they would not even consider voting for Christie, the worst showing in the field.