Christie Scandal Could Cost GOP Its Great Black Hope

Shaq defends the New Jersey governor, but the bridge scandal could cost Chris Christie—and Republicans—minority voters in 2016. 

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie enters the Borough Hall in Fort Lee to apologize to Mayor Mark Sokolich on Jan. 9, 2014. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The GOP’s other likely contenders, like Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, are unlikely to make headway with voters of color. Paul is weighed down by his many verbal missteps regarding the Civil Rights Act, and more specifically the question of whether he would have supported it. Meanwhile, Cruz and others are weighed down by their inflammatory rhetoric about President Obama, as well as issues like immigration.

Given the GOP’s many racial stumbles this past year, and the trouble Republicans have finding a united voice on racial issues, it’s unlikely that they are likely to become the party of the future.

Christie was their best hope. But not if he can’t survive “bridge-gate.”

Keli Goff is The Root’s special correspondent. Follow her on Twitter.