Christie Team Planning Big Push In New Hampshire

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s aides plan to arrange a series of town-hall meetings for him this year in New Hampshire, anticipating that his direct and sometimes combative style will play well in the state that analysts say is his best chance at victory among the early battlegrounds for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

Such town-hall meetings could help his team use Mr. Christie’s strength in a state that has long favored such question-and-answer sessions to take the temperature of presidential candidates. While the Christie team is setting up campaign machinery in all early-voting states, Republican voters in the two others—Iowa and South Carolina—often reward candidates with more conservative profiles.

Of those three states, Mr. Christie, who has yet to formally enter the race, drew double-digit support only in New Hampshire in NBC News/Marist polls released Sunday. By contrast, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker had support above 10% in all three states.

For Mr. Christie, New Hampshire “could very well be his do-or-die moment,” said Ford O’Connell, a Republican strategist who worked on Sen. John McCain ’s 2008 presidential bid. “It would do a lot for Christie to provide him a pathway forward.”

Read more Heather Haddon and Reid J. Epstein at The Wall Street Journal

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Analysis & Political Strategy