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Among Middlesex Republicans, Christie likely a safe play

Same likely not true for swing voters

By Nikita Biryukov, September 10 2018 2:26 pm

Three of New Jersey’s former Republican governors will host a reception and presentation with the Middlesex County Republican Organization at the start of October, an event that, were it meant for the general public could play poorly given the lackluster popularity of former Gov. Chris Christie,

But since the event, aimed at discussing independent votes in the county, is likely to be filled with the only the county’s Republicans and not the swing voters they will target in the year’s coming elections, it’s likely the former chiefs of state will find nothing but friendly faces, said Micah Rasmussen, director of Rider University’s Rebovich Institute.

“As I remember it Christie did pretty well electorally in Middlesex County,” Rasmussen said. “So, I think an examination of why he did well and how that portends for other candidates in the future, that would be of interest for me as a potential candidate in Middlesex County or as somebody who is involved in waging campaigns in Middlesex County.”

Though, given Christie’s abysmally-low end-of-term approval ratings – he left office with an approval rating of about 15% — his presence might put off the very voters candidates and Republican operatives in the district would like to target.

“If I am a rank-and-file voter in Middlesex County, I don’t particularly want to hear from him,” Rasmussen said. “I think we’ve turned the page, right? So, it would not really play well in Middlesex County as a whole, but among the Republican organization, I’m sure it’s just fine.”

Christie will be joined at the Forsgate Country Club by former Govs. Christine Todd Whitman and Thomas Kean Sr on Oct. 5, just over a month before election day.

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