More Republicans Don’t Want Chris Christie to Run in 2016 Than Do

Embroiled in federal and criminal investigations into his administration, the New Jersey governor is slowly sinking into the muddled field of Republican candidates.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie delivers his budget address for fiscal year 2015 to the Legislature, February 25, 2014 at the Statehouse in Trenton, New Jersey.
National Journal
Marina Koren
Add to Briefcase
Marina Koren
Feb. 26, 2014, 4:10 a.m.

The pro­gnos­is for Chris Christie’s pres­id­en­tial run doesn’t look good.

The New Jer­sey gov­ernor man­aged to main­tain his status as a Re­pub­lic­an fa­vor­ite for a few weeks after the bridge scan­dal broke last month, and his con­stitu­ents haven’t yet giv­en up on him. But new polling re­veals that con­di­tions are now de­teri­or­at­ing in earn­est.

More Re­pub­lic­ans say they do not want Christie to run for pres­id­ent in 2016 (41 per­cent) than say they do (31 per­cent), ac­cord­ing to a New York Times/CBS News poll re­leased Wed­nes­day.

Since the scan­dal spilled out onto the na­tion­al stage, Christie has been stuck between lay­ing low to re­pair his im­age and get­ting out there to con­vince both parties that he’s a for­mid­able 2016 can­did­ate. But as le­gis­lat­ive and fed­er­al in­vest­ig­a­tions con­tin­ue to probe his of­fice, the gov­ernor has little choice but to keep a re­l­at­ively low pro­file. And keep­ing quiet means the Re­pub­lic­an can’t com­bat the slip­ping fa­vor­ab­il­ity num­bers with­in his own party.

It also means Christie is sink­ing back in­to a muddled pool of dozens of po­ten­tial Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ates. Sen. Rand Paul of Ken­tucky and former Flor­ida Gov. Jeb Bush led Wed­nes­day’s poll. Forty per­cent of self-iden­ti­fied mem­bers of the Re­pub­lic­an Party said they hoped the politi­cians would run, but 21 per­cent said they hoped Paul wouldn’t and 27 per­cent said the same for Bush. Thirty-two per­cent of Re­pub­lic­ans say they want Sen. Marco Ru­bio of Flor­ida to run, but more do not know enough about him to say wheth­er he should. Twenty-four per­cent said they’d like to see Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas run, but 59 per­cent don’t know enough about him to de­cide.

Re­pub­lic­ans may op­pose a Christie run be­cause more of them now have a strong opin­ion about him as a po­ten­tial lead­er, thanks to his big­ger na­tion­al pro­file com­pared with oth­er po­ten­tial can­did­ates, and in part to his of­fice’s in­volve­ment in a re­tali­ation plot. Christie’s com­pet­it­ors have, so far, avoided any troub­ling events that would neg­at­ively sway party sup­port.

Still, all the num­bers point to one con­clu­sion: If there is a Re­pub­lic­an front-run­ner, and it doesn’t look like there’s a strong one, it’s not Christie.

Demo­crats, on the oth­er hand, seem to be united on their fa­vor­ite. More than eight in 10 Demo­crats said they want Hil­lary Clin­ton to run in 2016 — a level of in­terest un­matched by oth­er po­ten­tial can­did­ates, Demo­crat or Re­pub­lic­an. A ma­jor­ity were un­able to give their opin­ions about some oth­er po­ten­tial Demo­crat­ic can­did­ates, sug­gest­ing that Clin­ton dom­in­ates the field.

The pres­id­en­tial race is still, of course, two years away. But Demo­crats’ tun­nel vis­ion can only mean good things for a po­ten­tial Clin­ton cam­paign. As does Chris Christie’s slow re­leg­a­tion to the peri­phery.

What We're Following See More »
BIGGEST SHAKEUP OF ALL?
Bannon Is Out at the White House
3 hours ago
THE LATEST

First, it was Sean Spicer. Then Reince Priebus. Now, presidential adviser Steve Bannon, perhaps the administration's biggest lightning rod for criticism, is out. “White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed today would be Steve’s last day,” the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said in a statement. “We are grateful for his service and wish him the best.” That's not to say the parting of ways isn't controversial. Bannon says he submitted his resignation on Aug. 7, but earlier today, "the president had told senior aides that he had decided to remove Mr. Bannon."

Source:
INITIATIVE TARGETED GUN RETAILERS, OTHERS
Trump Ends Obama’s “Operation Choke Point”
6 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"The Trump administration has ended Operation Choke Point, the anti-fraud initiative started under the Obama administration that many Republicans argued was used to target gun retailers and other businesses that Democrats found objectionable. Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd told GOP representatives in a Wednesday letter that the long-running program had ended, bringing a conclusion to a chapter in the Obama years that long provoked and angered conservatives who saw Choke Point as an extra-legal crackdown on politically disfavored groups."

Source:
LIBERALS RAISE CONFLICT OF ISSUE QUESTIONS
Gorsuch to Deliver Speech at Trump Hotel
6 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Liberal groups are raising questions about a speaking appearance Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch plans to make next month at the Trump International Hotel in Washington. Gorsuch is scheduled to headline a luncheon celebrating the 50th anniversary of conservative group The Fund for American Studies on September 28, days before the next SCOTUS term begins October 2. Steve Slattery, a spokesman for The Fund for American Studies, said Gorsuch had nothing to do with venue choice, which was made long before the group asked Gorsuch to speak."

Source:
CYBER COMMAND ELEVATED AT DOD
Administration Faces Exodus of Top Cybersecurity Officials
6 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"The Trump administration has lost a handful of individuals serving in top cybersecurity roles across the federal government in recent weeks, even as it has struggled to fill high-ranking IT positions. The developments present hurdles for the new administration and speak to the longstanding challenge the federal government faces in competing with the private sector for top tech talent." Among those resigning is Richard Staropoli, "a former U.S. Secret Service agent who served as chief information officer (CIO) of the Department of Homeland Security for just three months," and Dave DeVries, the CIO at OPM. Separately, the White House announced today that President Trump has directed that United States Cyber Command be elevated to the status of a Unified Combatant Command focused on cyberspace operations.

Source:
SAYS TRUMP JUST ATTACKING REPUBLICANS
Former Top Aide to McConnell Says GOPers Should Abandon Trump
1 days ago
THE LATEST
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login