Christie heads to Iowa to test 2016 waters

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Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) is heading to Iowa on Thursday to test the waters for a possible White House bid in 2016. 

During the visit, Christie is scheduled to speak at three fundraisers, including one outside Des Moines for the Republican Governors Association, which he heads, The New York Times reports.

Christie is also slated to speak at a luncheon for Iowa House Speaker Kraig Paulsen (R) in Cedar Rapids and will attend an outdoor cookout for Gov. Terry Branstad (R-Iowa) in Davenport.

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Christie has already visited the state multiple times, suggesting he is seriously weighing a presidential run. Iowa's caucuses kick off the primary season in presidential cycles. 

Christie also plans to travel to New Hampshire on July 31, the Times reported, which is another early primary state. He’s scheduled to attend a minor league baseball game with Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.). 

A June Quinnipiac University survey measuring 2016 hypothetical matchups in Iowa found Christie had closed in on potential Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s lead. At the time, the poll found Clinton led Christie 44 percent to 36 percent, compared to the 48 percent to 35 percent lead she held in a March survey. 

Months after the George Washington Bridge scandal broke, Christie went on a comeback tour and was asked by Diane Sawyer on ABC News in late March if Iowa voters love his managerial style like those in New Jersey do. 

"I think they love me in Iowa, too, Diane. I've been there a lot. I think they love me there, too."