When the Republican primary race commenced, numerous candidates, approximately a dozen, initially competed for the nomination. Consistent with tradition, as time progressed, several contenders opted to withdraw. The latest participant to exit was former Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie. Prior to his withdrawal, Christie, unaware of a live microphone, candidly criticized his fellow competitors.
In a scheduled live stream to announce Christie’s resignation, the ex-governor of New Jersey engaged in a conversation with an individual named Wayne, and the remarks he uttered were inadvertently picked up by an open microphone.
The majority of the remarks revolved around the campaign spending of former US Ambassador Nikki Haley. It was observed that she allocated $68 million for TV advertisements, surpassing the $59 million spent by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who, in comparison, had only utilized $12 million for his campaign.
Christie’s remarks were abruptly truncated while discussing DeSantis, but he did reveal that the Florida governor had contacted him and seemed “petrified.” The specific cause of DeSantis’ supposed concern remains unclear. The audio of Christie’s statements gained widespread attention, going viral with nearly 1 million listeners on the file shared by The Recount alone.
Chris Christie is caught on a hot mic ahead of his expected announcement that he's dropping out of the presidential race:— The Recount (@therecount) January 10, 2024
He says Nikki Haley is "gonna get smoked" and a "petrified" Ron DeSantis called him. pic.twitter.com/fGOFEtVDHn
Even with Christie’s exit, there remain five contenders in the competition. The most prominent among them is, undoubtedly, former President Donald Trump, who holds a substantial lead in the race. As of January 12, according to FiveThirtyEight, Trump commands 60.4%, with DeSantis trailing far behind at 12.1%. Haley secures the third position with 11.7%.
Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy remains a contender, although he trails significantly with a 4.3% standing. Former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, on the other hand, holds a mere 0.9%.
Interestingly, only Haley and DeSantis participated in the fifth Republican primary debate. Trump qualified for the debate but opted to host a Fox Town Hall instead. Notably, Trump has refrained from participating in any debates, asserting his substantial lead in the race makes such appearances unnecessary.
Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy is also a contender, although he is significantly trailing with a 4.3% standing. Former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has a minimal 0.9% support.
Interestingly, only Haley and DeSantis took part in the fifth Republican primary debate. Although Trump qualified for it, he opted to host a Fox Town Hall instead. Notably, he has refrained from participating in any debates, asserting his substantial lead in the race renders such appearances unnecessary.
The primary elections commence on January 15 with the Iowa Republican caucus and extend until June 4, concluding with primaries in Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota. The official selection of the nominee will take place in Milwaukee during the Republican National Convention, scheduled for July 15 to 18.