Donald Trump gained 4 points in the new WBUR poll of New Hampshire. Chris Christie gained 6 points. Christie is now in second place in New Hampshire, according to the poll, at 12% -- but Trump's support is more than double that (27%).
So with both Trump and Christie gaining ground, how did Politico report the results?
Trump didn't even merit a mention in the headline. But that's great news for Trump -- no, really.
Up until a week or two ago, it seemed as if Marco Rubio was the only Establishment candidate having any success whatsoever. The GOP mainstream needs to coalesce around one candidate -- and Christie's rise in one state, if he can sustain it, will postpone that wagon-circling even longer. The fact that he's Chris Christie, the East Coast media's dreamboat, means that this one poll result will result in a huge wave of gushing coverage. Expect Joe Scarborough to spent most of next week proposing marriage to Christie on the air.
Christie isn't the guy you want as the Establishment pick going into the mostly Southern primaries and caucuses that follow New Hampshire -- unlike Marco Rubio, Christie has zero credibility among religious rightists. Southerners are far less likely to forgive him for being nice to President Obama after Hurricane Sandy, and it's doubtful they'll be impressed with that tear-jerking video in which he talked compassionately about addiction.
Keep splitting the vote, establishmentarians. Donald Trump thanks you.
Oh, and if you think that success in New Hampshire would inevitably be a springboard to success for Christie, let me remind you that in 2012 Jon Huntsman finished third there, with 17% of the vote. How'd that work out for him?
Crossposted at No More Mr. Nice Blog