In a fairly stunning move, popular New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will endorse Mitt Romney today in New Hampshire, just hours before a scheduled debate of the candidates for the GOP nomination.

Christie’s endorsement comes after last week, he finally put to rest any notion that he himself would seek the party’s nomination to challenge a wounded incumbent, President Barack Obama.

The Christie endorsement comes on the heels of several sets of new polling data which put Romney back in the lead of the RCP polling averages, an NBC News poll that put him in the lead in Iowa, and his continued dominance of the polling in New Hampshire.

Romney’s status as the front runner in the race is facing a challenge, as Herman Cain will be seeking to make his mark in tonight’s debate in the wake of some of his own good polling news in Iowa and South Carolina.

What impact will Christie’s endorsement have on the race?