New Jersey governor and ex officio University Trustee Chris Christie’s support has decreased in the four latest national polls predicting the Republican nominee for president, while Texas Senator Ted Cruz ’92 has seen a sharp increase in popularity.
Christie has consistently wavered in polls, peaking at 3 percent in mid-September, according to Huffington Post opinion polls. However, starting from the beginning of October, Christie has steadily declined in the polls, reaching 2.3 percent by early November.
Cruz polled steadily around 6 percent throughout September and most of October, but his numbers quickly increased around late October to early November. Currently, he is polling at approximately 9.4 percent, according to the Huffington Post.
Fox Business, the sponsor of the Republican debate on Nov. 10, has statedthat candidates must average a minimum of 2.5 percent in the four latest national polls to participate in the fourth prime time GOP debate.
Due to his low poll numbers, Christie was not able to participate in the Republican frontrunner debate on Tuesday. Instead, he participated in the undercard debate at 7 p.m. the same day,along with former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, former Senator for Pennsylvania Rick Santorum and Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal.
Neither Christie’s nor Cruz’s campaigns responded to requests for comment.
Christie and Huckabee both polled at an average of 2.25 percent in the four latest polls, according to CNN.com.
Associate politics professor Paul Frymer noted that Christie appears to be in a tougher situation than Cruz because Senator for FloridaMarco Rubio is surging in the polls.
Frymer noted that Christie also received some criticism for accepting support from President Barack Obama following the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
“Christie might be seen as more of an insider,” he noted.
Cruz has traditionally stood apart from the Republican party, so he would not receive the same criticism for collaborating withthe current government.
Frymer explained that the largest problem facing both candidates is that they are eclipsed by other candidates still in the race.
“Both of them just have louder, more successful versions of what they are promoting and crowding them out, so I think their success would be if they could stick around long enough for some of those people to leave,” Frymer said.
Cruz is currently predicted to have a 13 percent chance of becoming the Republican nominee for President, according to the CNN live political prediction market.
This percentage places him in third place among the Republican hopefuls, behind Rubio and Donald Trump, and ahead of Ben Carson.
A recent CNN article explained that some Republicans predict that the last two GOP candidates for the Republican nomination will be Cruz and Rubio. Both candidates had strong showings in the most recent Republican debate, according to the article.
Fryer predicted that Cruz could become one of the final two candidates, adding that Rubio will appeal more nationally but mightlose to Cruz within the Republican Party itself.
Carson is doing well but also experiencing difficulty, Frymer noted. He added that Cruz might end up being the last person standing among the far right, considering that Trump may not be a very stable candidate.
“If Trump were to drop out, it would certainly help both of them,” Frymer said.
He explained that the elimination of Trump from the Republican race would allow Christie to play up some of the strengths Trump currently overshadows. Frymer noted that Cruz would also have significantly better chances if Trump dropped out. However, due to Trump’s consistently high polling numbers, it is unlikely that he will do so in the near future.
Frymer also explained that though he believes Rubio is the more appealing candidate nationally, it is very unclear if he will win the nomination from the Republican party.
“Depending on how many primaries are left, Cruz could potentially have a great deal of success against Rubio,” he explained.
The next Republican debate will be in Las Vegas, Nev. on Dec. 15.