🔴 Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gets his first double-digit poll numbers in New Hampshire

🔴 Donald Trump's numbers are softening in New Hampshire

🔴 The former president will sit out the first GOP presidential debate

On the eve of the first Republican presidential debate, a newly released poll gives former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie double-digit polling numbers for the first time.

Christie's strategy of bashing former President Donald Trump seems to have paid off for now as he has jumped ahead of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in an Echelon Insights-Republican Main Street Partnership poll of 800 likely New Hampshire presidential primary voters.

The poll puts Christie in second place, at 14%. Leading the poll is Trump who tops the survey at 34%. Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy comes in third with 11%, and DeSantis is in fourth place at 9%.

2024 presidential candidates
2024 presidential candidates (Canva)

Christie appeals to independents, moderates

Southern New Hampshire University Civic Scholar and founder of NH Political Capital Dean Spiliotes says Christie's anti-Trump message is resonating with independent voters who can vote in the Republican primary six months from now.

Working in Christie's favor, according to some pundits, is that he's also focused his campaign almost exclusively on the Granite State to the point where some political pundits have joked he is running for governor of New Hampshire.

"Similarly, DeSantis is focusing on Iowa where two-thirds of the GOP voting electorate are conservative evangelicals and Ramaswamy is using social media to grow his numbers," Spiliotes said.

Trump, who said he is skipping the GOP debate in Milwaukee, will likely do an interview  with former Fox host Tucker Carlson to air on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.

Trump plans to surrender to authorities in Georgia on Thursday to face charges in the case accusing him of illegally scheming to overturn his 2020 election loss in the state.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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