Mr Christie, Mr Trump’s onetime staunch ally turned sworn nemesis, pointed out that the former president had endorsed Daniel Cameron in the Kentucky’s gubernatorial race – and that Mr Cameron then landed a major defeat in the red state.
“Cameron was a rising star in the Republican party until he decided to throw his lot in with Donald Trump,” he told CNN on Tuesday night.
“Let’s face it, Donald Trump is political and electoral poison down ballot.”
He added: “Any Republican who was overconfident about beating Joe Biden next year is a foolish Republican,” Christie said. “If he is the candidate for the Democratic Party, which it appears he will be, he will always be a difficult opponent.”
Mr Christie – the GOP presidential candidate who is most critical of Mr Trump – also hit out on social media and urged his party to see the race outcome as a wake-up call of the former president’s waning support.
“Trump endorsed candidate Daniel Cameron loses the Governor’s race in DEEP RED Kentucky. Another loss for Trump. The losing will only end for Republicans if we rid ourselves of Donald Trump. Trump — loser in ‘18, ‘20, ‘21, ‘22 and now ‘23,” he wrote on X on Tuesday night.
Mr Beshear campaigned on his opponent’s support for abortion restrictions as well as on his own record as governor while GOP opponent Mr Cameron ran with Mr Trump’s support.
The Democrat was leading by four percentage points with more than three-quarters of the vote counted when the race was called just before 9pm EST.
Beyond Kentucky, Democrats secured other wins in the off-year elections on Tuesday night – elections which hinted at key priorities for Americans one year out from the 2024 presidential election.
In Virginia, Democrats also swept the board with Republicans not only failing to reclaim control of the state Senate but also losing control of the state House to Democrats.
The outcome marks a devastating blow to Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin who was widely rumoured to be mulling a late entry into the crowded Republican presidential race – potentially wiping out his ambitions for 2024.
It also put a swift end to his anti-abortion policies, after he pushed his plan for a 15-week abortion ban – something he tried to market as “reasonable” abortion restrictions
Join our commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies