Chris Christie is Losing the Invisible Primary

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How is Chris Christie doing in the latest presidential polling for 2016? It’s hard to care much. It’s way too early for these polls to mean anything.

However, the invisible primary for the Republican nomination will be starting in earnest within a year, and even now GOP power brokers are starting to make decisions about who to support. So it probably is worth asking how Christie is doing among Republicans. Dave Weigel answers:

Worse and worse. In the last Quinnipiac poll, 64 percent of Republicans said Christie would be a “good president.” Only 18 percent disagreed. That’s shrunk to 50 and 22 percent, respectively—a mere 4-point increase in the hard-no number, but a 12-point move from “good president” to “ask me something else.” Conservatives, more skeptical in general of Christie, had given him a 54–26 advantage on the “good president” question. That’s down to 37–24. Again, not huge movement to “no,” just a lot of sliding toward undecided.

Since I officially think Christie never had much of a chance in 2016 to begin with, I suppose these numbers shouldn’t mean much to me. But Bridgegate really does seem to be moving Christie from the “slim chance” column to the “no chance” column. You need to have a good reason to gamble on someone with Christie’s obvious downsides, and that good reason has always been his appeal to blue-collar America as an honest guy who doesn’t pull his punches. When that morphs into a reputation as a guy with control issues who revels in petty reprisals against his political foes, the jig is up. He’s got nothing left. The folks with money who are looking for a winner are going to start looking elsewhere.

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