Politico tries to answer the question in our headline, and comes away with an ambiguous answer:
Forget Bridgegate. CBS reports that former Chris Christie aides are headed to New Hampshire — ostensibly to work on local political campaigns there. But they might have broader opportunities in mind.
Dear Governor Christie:
It is over. For the good of the Republican Party, the State of New Jersey, you, and your family, it is time to put to rest all speculation that you may run for president in 2016. Have one of your famous news conferences — call us all idiots if you’d like — but officially announce that you’ll not be running for president.
The Star-Ledger reports that Chris Christie gathered just 8 percent of the vote—good for fourth place—in a presidential straw poll over the weekend at CPAC, the largest annual gathering of conservative activists. Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and Ben Carson each placed ahead of Christie. (Though it may say something about the peculiar makeup of CPAC activists that Carson—whom you’ve probably never heard of) beat Christie. Rick Santorum was right behind with 7 percent of the vote.
It may not make much difference: While Mitt Romney has won the CPAC poll a number of times before his 2012 nomination, the only other candidate to win in recent years has been Ron Paul. CPAC’s activists are influential, but they don’t determine everything.
The conservative Washington Examiner says polling shows Chris Christie’s comeback from Bridgegate is happening in Virginia:
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s political comeback has started inVirginia where he has emerged as the Republican Party’s best chance to defeat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, according to anew poll from Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Va.
Christie, who is slowly extracting himself from the so-called “Bridgegate” affair, is the top pick among Virginians to be the 2016 GOP nominee, and he comes within the margin of error in a head-to-head matchup with Clinton.
In that contest, said the poll from the school’s Judy Ford Wason Center for Public Policy, Clinton beats Christie 43 percent to 41 percent. The margin of error for the poll of 901 voters is 3.3 percent.
Christie barely edges Jeb Bush among Republicans, the poll says, but Bush would be thrashed by Clinton in their head-to-head matchup.