OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Former New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie, who jumped into the 2024 presidential race earlier this month, was met with some boos and chants of “Trump, Trump, Trump” after he was critical of the former president at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority Policy event.
During his speech, Christie said that former President Donald Trump was the reason why he decided to get into the race.
“Why am I running for president of the United States? I’m running because [Trump’s] let us down. He has let us down because he’s unwilling — he’s unwilling to take responsibility for any of the mistakes that were made,” said Christie at one point to a crowd that was silent at the time.
“Any of the faults that he has, and any of the things that he’s done,” he added, as some in the audience began to grumble audibly.
“And that is not leadership, everybody. That is a failure of leadership,” Christie, who was a member of Trump’s 2016 presidential transition team, continued as some began to boo.
“And I— you can boo all you want, but here’s the thing. Our faith teaches us that people have to take responsibility for what they do. People have to stand up and take accountability for what they do,” Christie continued, garnering some applause along with the boos.
“I cannot stand by, and as soon as I’ve started to be critical. After all of that, they offered me White House Chief of Staff, now what he does is call me names. And belittle me,” he said.
Trump has been leading the Republican presidential field since he became the first to announce his candidacy for the GOP nomination in November. And while Trump may be continuing to face legal challenges in New York and Georgia, those cases do not seem to have hurt him politically, according to a major new 2024 presidential poll.
In fact, a perception that he’s being targeted politically may even be helping him ahead of a potential 2020 rematch against President Joe Biden.
According to the latest Harvard-Harris poll, there has been a notable surge in support for Trump, suggesting a potential path to victory next year if he secures the GOP nomination. The poll results indicate that Trump continues to maintain a formidable presence, despite various legal challenges while also enjoying a substantial lead over his Democratic counterparts.
The poll reveals a remarkable surge in popularity for Trump, who garnered 47 percent approval from respondents, surpassing Biden’s approval rating of 40 percent, giving Trump a clear 7-point lead.
The survey also assessed hypothetical contests involving Trump and other prominent Democrats. The results, for instance, showed Trump with 50 percent support compared to Vice President Kamala Harris, who trailed behind at 39 percent.
As for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has not yet declared his candidacy but is expected to as early as this week, the results showed him in a dead heat with Biden at 42 percent apiece, which was the same outcome as a potential DeSantis-Harris matchup.
Meanwhile, according to the survey, less than 33 percent of respondents believe that the country is moving in the right direction, which is a clear indication of the lack of confidence in Biden’s policies. Additionally, an alarming 66 percent of the participants expressed concern about the direction of the U.S. economy, an indication they believe it is heading in the wrong direction — a clear reflection of a perception that the current administration is unable to manage the country’s financial well-being.
At the same time, half of respondents reported that their personal finances have worsened during the Biden presidency. And according to the poll, a mere 21 percent of respondents expressed confidence in avoiding a potential recession.
Overall, there is a worrying trend of pessimism regarding the country’s economic prospects, which is likely to increase the likelihood of more Americans supporting Trump’s return to the presidency, given his reputation for being a capable leader in creating jobs and strengthening the economy.