Gov. Chris Christie suspends presidential campaign
Unable to sway voters in Iowa and New Hampshire, Gov. Chris Christie has decided to officially end his bid for a spot on the November general election ballot, according to a spokeswoman for Christie's campaign.
Campaign spokeswoman Samantha Smith said Christie broke the news of his decision to staff at his campaign headquarters in Morristown, New Jersey, late Wednesday afternoon, according to the Associated Press.
Christie, who came in sixth following the New Hampshire primaries Tuesday, made the decision after returning home to New Jersey Wednesday, the campaign told the Associated Press and CNN.
Christie's campaign has not yet released a statement on the governor's decision to leave the race.
The final poll released before the primary from Emerson College showed Christie in back of the GOP presidential pack at 6 percent. The NJ governor held his 76th and final town hall meeting on Monday and then tweeted out a video of what he called his “closing argument” before the New Hampshire primary.
Christie had a strong showing during Saturday night’s final GOP debate during which which he unleashed an attack on Sen. Marco Rubio. University of Southern New Hampshire political professor Dean Spiliotes told New Jersey 101.5 the final CNN/WMUR poll showed 45 percent of Republican voters as undecided, and called Christie’s biggest challenge getting past “the governors” of Jeb Bush and John Kasich.
The next GOP debate is scheduled for Saturday in Greenville, but Christie would have been excluded from taking part in the forum unless he ranked at least fifth in the New Hampshire primary.
Christie follows a roster of Republicans who didn’t even wait for the first votes to be cast before throwing in the towel. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who actually won Iowa in 2008, left the race during the Iowa caucuses. Govs. Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, along with former Govs. George Pataki of New York and Rick Perry of Texas bowed out early in the race for the GOP nomination along with South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.
Toniann Antonelli is the digital managing editor for news at NJ 101.5. Reach her at email@example.com, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.