Christie Edges Closer to 2016 Race

Chris Christie

Chris Christie has started his own political action committee, the latest — perhaps best — signal that he’s preparing to run for president in 2016.

“The launch of the PAC, called Leadership Matters for America, is the clearest sign yet that Mr. Christie is running,” the Wall Street Journal reports. “It allows Mr. Christie to assemble a team of about a dozen staffers and fundraisers who could support a potential run for president, as well as to raise money that can be used to contribute to like-minded political candidates.”
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Poll: N.J. Voters Don’t Think Chris Christie Would Be a Very Good President

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Chris Christie is having a hard time hanging onto the support of his home state as he considers a run for the presidency.

“Nearly three in five registered voters in New Jersey do not think their governor, Republican Chris Christie, would make a good U.S. president, according to a poll released on Thursday,” Reuters reports. “Overall, 57 percent of the registered voters polled said they did not think Christie, who prides himself on his blunt, sometimes combative, speaking style, would make a good president. That included nearly a third of registered Republicans, 78 percent of Democrats and 59 percent of independents.”
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Christie Raises Cash, But Jersey GOP Is Poor

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Chris Christie knows how to raise cash. But that’s turning out to be of little help to the New Jersey GOP, whose coffers have been depleted by legal fees spent during Christie’s “Bridgegate” scandal.

“The net worth of the New Jersey Republican Party is at its lowest point in years as it covers legal bills connected to the George Washington Bridge investigation, according to campaign reports disclosed Tuesday,” the Wall Street Journal reports. “The New Jersey Republican State Committee had a net worth of $25,818 at the end of last year, excluding its federal campaign account and when accounting for $527,731 in debt, the bulk of it related to bridge-related legal expenses. That is down from $399,863 in net worth at the conclusion of 2013 and $152,920 at the end of 2012, past reports show.”

That poor state of affairs isn’t due to a lack of fundraising prowess. As chairman of the Republican Governors Association during the 2014 election cycle, Christie reportedly raised more than $106 million — although the group spent more than that, $130 million, in an all-out effort to win races.
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Poll: Christie Trails Bush by 10 Points

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie arrives at  an event in Nashua, N.H., Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014 at which he campaigned with Republican gubernatorial hopeful Walt Havenstein. Christie has been crisscrossing the country to bolster fellow Republicans as chair of the Republicans Governors Association, with a schedule that also has included key states on the presidential nomination calendar as he considers a run in 2016. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie arrives at an event in Nashua, N.H., Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014 at which he campaigned with Republican gubernatorial hopeful Walt Havenstein. Christie has been crisscrossing the country to bolster fellow Republicans as chair of the Republicans Governors Association, with a schedule that also has included key states on the presidential nomination calendar as he considers a run in 2016. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

If he’s running for president in 2016, Chris Christie will have to play catch-up. Jeb Bush’s “exploration” of entering the presidential campaign has put him 10 points ahead of the New Jersey governor in a new poll.

USA Today:

Bush was the pick of 23% of Republicans surveyed in the nationwide poll, 10 points ahead Christie. Physician Ben Carson is third at 7%, followed by Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

Christie, who had a 9% showing in November, gave mixed signals earlier this month about entering the presidential race, or when he would enter it.

“I’ve made no mystery of the fact that I’m thinking about running for president, but I’ve also made no mystery of the fact that I’m not going to make any decision until well into next year,” he said (earlier this month).

On the bright side: The same poll showed Christie with just 9 percent support in November.

NYT: Christie Popularity Suffers in Jersey

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The New York Times reports that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is seeing his popularity dip at home as he spends more and more of his time out of the state.

Polls taken over the last three months reveal a list of home-state complaints: Mr. Christie’s favorability is at its lowest point, with more voters disapproving than approving of his job performance. New Jersey residents think he is making decisions with an eye on his national standing rather than on what is good for their state. They do not think he should run for president — they are, as the slogan goes, ready for Hillary — but most expect he will, and want him to resign if he does. Political talk in New Jersey centers less on Mr. Christie running for president and more on which one of three Democrats quietly seeking to succeed him will win — even though that election is three years away.

For his part, Mr. Christie has begun living a life that is strikingly apart from the state he governs. As chairman of the Republican Governors Association over the last year, he spent 152 days, or 42 percent of his time, outside New Jersey. He has been out of the state for 137 days, or 40 percent of the time, since his second inauguration in January. If he starts a campaign for the presidency early in 2015, it would ensure a tenure spent more on national pursuits than on, say, Pinelands preservation or taking on public employees over pension reform — the issue that brought him all the national attention in the first place.

The NYT reports an October poll shows 32 percent of New Jerseyans like everything about Mr. Christie, while 35 percent dislike everything.

Poll: Majority of N.J. Residents Don’t Want President Chris Christie

A new poll from Quinnipiac University says that New Jersey residents are less than enthusiastic about a Chris Christie presidency.

Though he’s won two terms as governor with relative ease, 53 percent of Jersey residents think he’d be a bad president. Forty percent think he’d make a good chief executive. Quinnipiac has been asking this question since 2010, when 61 percent of New Jersey residents thought he would not make a good president. (The high for Christie was 44 percent “bad president” and 41 percent “good president” — in March 2013.)

“Even Jersey guys, actually Jersey girls, don’t think the nation will go for a Jersey guy like Gov. Christopher Christie,” Maurice Carroll, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, said in a press release. “Shades of Woodrow Wilson. The last Jersey guy who got elected president did not carry the state in his 1916 reelection. And this poll shows we haven’t changed in the last century.”

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Santorum Runs Again?

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He hasn’t made a formal announcement yet, but sitting down with the Washington Post to mull your (possible) presidential campaign seems to be good way let the world know that, yeah, you’re probably running. So let’s just consider Rick Santorum, Pennsylvania’s former U.S. senator, a lock to run for the 2016 Republican nomination. The Post’s headline even drops the pretense: “Rick Santorum is running for president again,” it shouts.

“Again.” (He ran and lost the nomination in 2012 to Mitt Romney.) Only this time, he says, he’s ready.
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