Gov. Christie's supporters have formed a super PAC that can accept unlimited donations in advance of an anticipated presidential campaign, an announcement that follows unfavorable poll numbers about the New Jersey governor's 2016 chances.

The super PAC, America Leads, was started by Phil Cox, the former executive director of the Republican Governors Association. Cox worked with Christie while the governor was chairman of the RGA last year.

"I've established this super PAC because it's time for America to lead again, and I believe Gov. Christie is exactly the kind of strong leader we need at this critical point in our nation's history," Cox said Thursday. "He's provided effective, conservative leadership in a deep blue state, bringing people together to solve difficult problems and get results. That's exactly the kind of leadership we need in America today, and we hope he decides to run."

The formation of the super PAC was first reported Thursday by the Wall Street Journal. Cox said he filed paperwork to form the committee Feb. 23. In addition to Cox, former RGA finance director Paige Hahn will serve as the PAC's finance director.

Christie's political team is also bulking up. Three veterans of presidential campaigns and the Republican National Committee have been hired by the Leadership Matters for America political action committee backing Christie – a group separate from the super PAC. The hires, also first reported by the Journal, were confirmed Thursday by Christie adviser Mike DuHaime, a senior adviser to the Leadership Matters PAC.

While super PACs can accept unlimited donations, they can't coordinate directly with candidates. The Leadership Matters PAC can't accept donations greater than $5,000 or fund campaign activities, but Christie can be a part of its fundraising efforts.

Christie, who on Wednesday attended a meet-and-greet in Florida hosted by billionaire Home Depot co-founder Ken Langone, has several fundraising-related events lined up in the coming weeks.

Next week, the Leadership Matters PAC will host a thank-you event for people who have been raising money in New Jersey. DuHaime said fundraisers for the PAC are planned in Houston and in Philadelphia, where U.S. Rep. Pat Meehan will host an event on March 25.

Earlier this week, a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found 57 percent of Republican primary voters said they could not see themselves supporting Christie, among the worst rankings in the poll.