Chris Christie won a key endorsement Sunday from New Hampshire’s largest newspaper, another sign that the moderate Republican presidential candidate could perhaps win the GOP primary in the early-voting state.
“We doubt that too many people across New Hampshire have politics front and center right now,” wrote Union Leader publisher Joe McQuaid. “But in just 10 weeks, New Hampshire will make a choice that will profoundly affect our country and the world. We better get it right. … Our choice is Gov. Chris Christie.”
Political analysts have said that Christie could win New Hampshire, considering its voters so-called “independent streak” and Christie’s ability to get elected and re-elected as governor in such a Democrat-leaning state as New Jersey.
“Christie is a solid, pro-life conservative who has managed to govern in liberal New Jersey, face down the big public unions, and win a second term,” McQuaid also wrote.
Christie won the primary endorsement despite struggling to break into the top tier of 2016 GOP candidates, even failing to qualify for the main-stage event in the last primary debate.
In New Hampshire, he ranks fifth among the 13 GOP candidates with 3.5 percent of the vote, according to an averaging of polls by the non-partisan website RealClearPolitics.com.
However, Christie also appears to know that success in New Hampshire will keep his campaign alive. He said Sunday that he has already spent 48 days in the state and will return Monday.
“Honored to receive the support of New Hampshire’s Union Leader,” he tweeted.
A victory or top finish in first-voting states Iowa and New Hampshire can often make or break a presidential campaign.
McQuaid in his endorsement also appear to take a shot at Sens. Marco Rubio, Florida, and Ted Cruz, Texas.
“We don’t need another fast-talking, well-meaning freshman U.S. senator trying to run the government. We are still seeing the disastrous effects of the last such choice,” he wrote, apparently also referring to President Obama.