It appears the George Washington Bridge controversy New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's dealing with this year back in the Garden State hasn't affected his standing as one of the GOP's most potent fundraising rainmakers.
The Republican Governors Association announced Thursday that it's raised $60 million since Christie was elected chairman of the organization last November.
The RGA also reported it has more than $70 million cash on hand. That's the most money in the bank the RGA's ever had in its history. And the RGA said that it raised $26.6 million the past three months, an all-time second quarter record for the group.
Christie's chairmanship of the RGA was seen as a possible stepping stone to a potential 2016 bid for the GOP presidential nomination. But six weeks into his tenure as chairman, the bridge controversy went viral. State lawmakers and the U.S. Attorney's Office are investigating allegations that top Christie appointees orchestrated traffic jams last September by closing access lanes to the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee to politically punish that town's mayor for not endorsing the governor's re-election.
Christie has repeatedly denied knowing anything about the gridlock until after it occurred. While his poll numbers - both in New Jersey and nationally - took a big hit when the bridge controversy when viral at the beginning of this year, his numbers have stabilized, and Christie has continued to travel across the country in his role as RGA chairman, raising money for the group and supporting Republican governors running for re-election and GOP gubernatorial candidates.
"The RGA has never been in such a strong financial position. It is a tribute to the sound policy, good governance and real results coming from states with Republican governors," said Christie in a statement put out by the organization. "Their bold leadership, combined with the RGA's significant resources, put us in strong position to win governors' races across the country this year."
When it comes to governors' races, it's the GOP that's mostly playing defense this year. The party's defending 22 of the 36 seats up for grabs in November. And some of them are in states that Obama carried in both 2008 and 2012, such as Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Florida, Maine, Nevada and New Mexico.
But Democrats also have some vulnerable seats to defend, in Arkansas, Colorado and Illinois. And they won't have cakewalks in Connecticut and Massachusetts.