But while Huckabee has a base of support among evangelicals and Paul among his father’s former supporters and more libertarian Republicans, Christie increasingly looks like a man without a party.

Wall Street and blue-state donors, even in nearby Connecticut and New York, have lined up to back Bush, the party’s policy wonks are more excited about Rubio and party donors who don’t want a third Bush presidency are looking closely at Walker.

“A lot of these guys that begged him [Christie] to run in that race in ’12, they are not necessarily with him,” said Craig Robinson, the former political director of the Iowa Republican Party. “This is a hard lesson that every cycle is different. There were a lot of people saying ‘you need to do this’ four years ago. Now there are a lot of different faces on the scene and maybe they won’t feel so compelled to get you in this race.”

Publicly, most Republican heavyweights are wary of criticizing Christie, who just finished a successful tour of running the Republican Governors Association, helping to elect GOP candidates across the country.