Chris Christie less likely to run
Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) has left no hard evidence that he wants to run for President, and even fewer people now expect him to.
Chris Christie run: lack of evidence
Chris Christie has left no paper trail, or done anything else concrete to show that he is running. He has not formed a Federal Elections Commission exploratory committee. The Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ) reports that evidence of a campaign is lacking. Governors, State chairmen, and donors in Iowa, South Carolina, and New Jersey all say that Christie has done nothing to organize in their States. The SL’s Matt Friedman noted that Chris Christie said nothing about running for President as he swore in a judge. (Friedman and his colleagues also quoted Assemblyman John Wisniewski as wondering why Christie can’t make up his mind.)
Chris Christie losing support
Some of the big-money support for a Chris Christie run seems to be fading, too. True, Governor John Kasich (R-OH) said on Friday that Christie ought to run for President. But yesterday, New York real-estate tycoon Donald Trump told Politico that Christie probably will not run. The reason: it’s too late. Many senior Republican figures told the S-L that Christie could still make it, but it would be very close. Several debates have already taken place. Florida moved up its primary date recently. Other States will do the same, if they haven’t already.
At least some big-money donors want Chris Christie to stay out. Meg Whitman is one of them. She held a fund-raiser for Christie, but only after he pledged not to run, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Do conservatives need him?
Add this to it: he is not conservative enough. That might not have mattered so much in earlier Presidential elections. But the Republicans never faced an opponent who had governed as far to the left as Obama has done. So bad are Obama’s numbers that a majority of the people fully expect their fellow voters not to re-elect him. (Source: ABC)
Which means that the Republican primaries will decide the general election, for better or for worse. (Democratic curmudgeon Bob Beckel admitted to Andrea Tantaros, on Fox News’ America’s Newsroom, that even she could beat Barack Obama, were the election held today.) Therefore the argument that “we have to nominate a moderate to win the general election” won’t hold this year.
Tea Party activists have said repeatedly that they do not trust Christie. Some have told your editor that he might be “conservative” enough for New Jersey, but not for the whole country. (See Matt Friedman’s synoptic list of Chris Christie’s positions here.)
The Washington Post reports on their poll saying that Chris Christie does not have a lot of Republican voters clamoring for him to run. This should have surprised no one. One voter in the audience in Simi Valley “begging” him to run does not make a groundswell. People who crunch numbers for a living have a phrase for that performance: “anecdotal evidence.” To show whether that voter represents more than just herself, they want statistical evidence, from large numbers of people.
The numbers don’t add up. The big money might support him (except that Meg Whitman, who has picked Mitt Romney, is not one of them). The grassroots clearly do not.
Chris Christie will hold a press conference at 1:00 p.m. EDT today. He has promised to give a definitive answer then.
At 1:00 p.m. EDT today, Chris Christie announced that he definitely would not run for President.
Featured image: Chris Christie as United States Attorney. Photo: US Department of Justice.
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