Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Christie Sees Support, but Needs Turnout

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Christie Sees Support, but Needs Turnout

Article excerpt

BEDFORD, N.H. -- With little time left before the first Republican presidential primary, Governor Christie on Saturday launched his final push on the ground to turn voters his way in what is shaping up as a pivotal test of his campaign for the GOP nomination.

While his volunteers fanned out to neighborhoods and telephoned potential voters, Christie spent much of the day preparing for Saturday night's debate, the last before Tuesday's New Hampshire primary.

Meanwhile, the super PAC supporting his candidacy disclosed Saturday that it spent nearly $1 million on advertising.

Christie started the day at a morning rally in a bleak but packed warehouse in this town in the southern part of the state, where he enlisted the help of some of his best-known backers: Charlie Baker of Massachusetts and Larry Hogan of Maryland, both conservative governors from blue states.

Baker, the popular Massachusetts governor, said, "Polls are just numbers on a board. What matters is who shows up on Election Day and votes."

As Christie was joined by his wife and two younger children, supporters implored the room of roughly 400 people to not just vote Tuesday, but also to bring along others in support of Christie.

"If each of us takes 12 people to the polls, we can do this," said New Hampshire state Sen. Nancy Stiles, a Republican who has endorsed Christie.

Christie went into Saturday night's Republican debate stalled behind the pack of three mainstream candidates led by U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.

Christie said last week that he would have to "think long and hard" about continuing his campaign if he did not at least beat the other two mainstream candidates, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Christie signaled during the rally that he would forcefully attempt to distinguish himself from other candidates, especially Rubio, his prime target since the Iowa caucuses. Rubio finished third in the contest, behind U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and real- estate developer Donald Trump, giving him a strong argument to become the party's establishment nominee. …

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