When Marco Rubio trades media jabs with Chris Christie in Iowa as the voting draws nearer by the day, you know Christie is gaining a little more traction with voters each and every day. His debate performances have been funny and to the point and not at all lacking in confidence. And if Christie can somehow surprise in Iowa, New Hampshire will like him even more than they already do. Keeping in mind that he’s at best in the top three in the Granite State.

Can Governor Christie begin to put together a series of surprises, if not outright upsets? That would take some doing with his numbers in South Carolina barely in the single digits. People seem to like him and his favorable ratings are good. But he does not have the impact, or the funding at least at this point, to do serious damage to the leaders.

But that hasn’t stopped Rubio from trading barbs over his Senate attendance record and Governor Christie’s absences from his home state. It might just be a case of Rubio trying to hold onto his third place position in Iowa. Christie trails even Rand Paul with a Real Clear Politics poll average of 2.3% in Iowa. That’s less than half of Jeb Bush’s numbers.

In New Hampshire, the RCP average polling numbers put Christie and Cruz neck in neck at 11.5% and Rubio barely ahead at 12.8%. So the Rubio-Christie sparring certainly makes sense in light of what each is trying to get done in New Hampshire.

The problem is, how can Christie possibly leverage his executive experience in New Jersey in this, of all, campaigns? He’s got a businessman and a surgeon ahead of him, as well as that pesky polished senator from Florida. And most of the rest of the field in most of the primary states, to be honest.

People seem to be willing to listen to Governor Christie. To laugh at his jokes. And to appreciate his point of view. But they are not willing in any significant numbers, to vote for him. At least, not so far.