Online, influential conservative voices have risen to Christie’s defense, albeit with plenty of nuance.

RedState.com’s Erick Erickson told RealClearPolitics that it was “absolutely crazy” for anyone to believe that Christie’s 2016 hopes had been quashed. “I’ve been seeing a lot of conservatives rally to defend Christie from the media,” Erickson said before adding an important qualification. “But every single one, including me, has put in the caveat that this does not mean we support him for president.”

Ben Shapiro, editor in chief of TruthRevolt.org and editor-at-large at Breitbart.com, tweeted in the early days of Bridgegate that Christie’s role in the scandal “may be impeachable, not just indicative of inappropriateness of a 2016 run.”

But in an interview with RCP, Shapiro agreed that the intense coverage of the scandal has “100 percent, absolutely” changed the Garden State governor’s relationship with conservative activists.

Though he is skeptical that any positive feelings toward Christie on the right will last, Shapiro agreed that the new dynamic was “almost entirely driven by the fact that the media made this their number one story for weeks.”