There has been a good deal of conversation, mostly amongst those who attempt to predict elections and participants in them, regarding whether Governor Chris Christie should pursue a run for the Republican nomination for president in 2012. Christie might start to ponder “what if” after Monday’s Zogby poll placed Christie ahead of top Republican names in 2012. Additionally, he was the only one to garner an edge over President Obama in potential matchups.
Christie leads former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney by ten percent; his closest potential opponent. Christie has 27% of the GOP support compared to Romney’s 17%. Next with 16% was former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. The always popular “other” or “not sure” actually finished second to Christie with 18%.
In the hypothetical matchups, Christie is leading Obama by 43% to 40%.
When released, the poll looked like something else for Christie to dismiss in regard to the presidential discussions and talks he tries to swat away. However, it might also be a glimmer of enjoyment for Christie as he deals with the hysteria in New Jersey over his vacation during a blizzard.
Fairleigh Dickinson pollster Peter Wooley cautioned Christie supporters to not put too much weight in this poll as it was conducted online and not via telephone. Telephone polls are said to be the preferred method as you get to talk with voters and truly gather their opinions. Or at least a somewhat more accurate picture of where they stand.
“There is no margin of error that can be calculated for that kind of poll. The random selection process has been so severely compromised that margin of error really plays no role.”
Wooley would like to see some background information and also hinted at Fairleigh Dickinson releasing a poll of their own soon on GOP potential candidates in 2012.
Other GOP potential candidates like Mike Huckabee (14%), Mitch Daniels (5%), Tim Pawlenty (2%), and Jim Thune (2%) trailed far behind Christie.
Both Romney and Palin are running neck in neck in terms of polling percentage in this poll, but when it comes to a potential matchup with President Obama; Romney is statistically tied with Obama with both receiving a potential 41% of the vote. However, Palin trails Obama by seven points; 45% to 38%. Thus, that might speak volumes of the top three GOP challengers in this poll: two can run competitively against Obama due to their ability to appeal to moderates and Independents while Palin’s conservatism leaves her distant amongst middle of the road voters who shape many elections.
Christie quickly looked to turn away any potential presidential run in 2012 in the wake of this Zogby poll. It was more of the same for Christie in regard to 2012 as he reiniterated his stance on not seeking a higher office in 2012.
Trying to make light of the poll, Christie quipped,
“That’s good news for the president since I’m not running. I’m sure the president is resting easy.”
Christie has been pretty active since his return from Florida as he has dealt with the media storm regarding the inclement weather last week while away. He took his pulpit to multiple radio shows on Monday and those type of actions will only rile up conservatives. Rile them up to calmer for Christie. Especially after this Zogby poll they might jump the gun and see a potential loss for Obama as the catalyst for supporting Christie.
Despite not wanting to be involved in 2012 outside of a campaigner for a GOP candidate in New Jersey, he continues to allow the door to remain ajar by some of his comments. One last year involved a hypothetical question he asked regarding voters seeing him as a vice presidential candidate for the Republican Party.
Christie has been one of the poster children for conservatism and reining in spending over the last year. He got elected in a fairly Democratic state based on a mixture of a less than popular governor, an appeal to Independents, and a bit of luck.
Polls will begin to trickle in as 2011 begins and might make some potential candidates’ decisions for 2012 either easier or harder. Christie seems dedicated to his job for New Jersey and views his role as a state executive as of great importance to him. His personality and demeanor scream “Jersey Guy”. He has a bit of Lyndon Johnson and a bit of Ronald Reagan in him in the way he deals with the opposing party and rival associations.
These type of polls are great for speculation, but it will be ultimately up to Christie and others to gather data on the ground in Iowa and New Hampshire on where voters are leaning. Beyond that, they need to see how they stack up to Obama overall and on the issues. It will certainly take someone like Christie to give Obama a serious challenge in 2012. This Zogby poll will certainly be added to the studies GOP party chairmen gather to figure out whom the best candidate might be.
Let the continued speculation of Christie in 2012 remain open…at least for now.