Friday, August 09, 2013

Conservatives Against Christie

The so-called Republican establishment continues to reap what it sowed in allowing the Christofascists and equally reality denying Tea Party crowd to hijack the party base.  Among the likely 2016 GOP candidates, one contender would not immediately be radio active to independents and more conservative Democrats:  Chris Christie.  The problem is, however, is that Christie is anathema to the Christofascists and Tea Party crowd who seem unable to forgive Christie for (i) seeking federal funds in the wake of Hurricane Sandy's devastation to New Jersey, and (ii) embracing Barack Obama's support for New Jersey.  Allahpundit questions whether Christie could overcome the far right's hatred of him to win the nomination.  Here are excerpts:
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that Christie earns 21% support when Republican voters are asked whom they would vote for if the party’s primary in their state were held today. Florida Senator Marco Rubio runs a close second with 18% of the GOP vote, followed by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush at 16% and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul with 15% of the vote.

Congressman Paul Ryan, the unsuccessful Republican vice presidential candidate in 2012, picks up 13% of the Republican vote, with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker dead last at six percent (6%). Just three percent (3%) prefer another candidate, and eight percent (8%) are undecided.
Good news for Christie-haters: He’s also leading the field — by double digits — when Republicans are asked who they’d least like to see win the nomination. (His new nemesis, Rand Paul, is a distant second.) This is why I keep thinking that, for all the slobber over his “electability,” he might be so widely and deeply disliked by a small but significant minority of righties that they end up staying home if he’s nominee and costing him the election. To be “electable” with a few percentage points’ worth of conservatives sitting out, he’d have to offset them by grabbing more centrist Democrats than expected from the Democratic nominee. How likely is that if Hillary’s the pick and Bill Clinton’s out there every day for her on the trail? Every candidate tacks toward the center after he’s nominated, but Christie would tack further than most — not just because he’s inclined to, but because he might have to in order to make up those lost conservative votes.

It’s time (already!) to stop thinking about national polls for 2016, though, and to start thinking in terms of Iowa and New Hampshire.

A new Granite State Poll  . . . . The poll’s new leader is New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, at 21 percent. He is followed by Paul at 16 percent, former Florida governor Jeb Bush at 10 percent, Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.) at 8 percent and Rubio at 6 percent.

Rubio’s a special case in that he’s a Florida native and could, in theory, win there even if he loses the first three major primaries, but imagine how many “Rubio disappoints again” stories will be written before then. New Hampshire is going to be even tougher than usual next time too thanks to Christie’s and Paul’s likely candidacies: Each of them, in very different ways, seems better suited to NH’s maverick-y sensibility than Rubio does.

One other fun fact from the Rasmussen poll: Among Democrats, Christie is the guy they’d most like to see win the GOP nomination — and Jeb Bush, by far, is who they’d least like to see win. Shouldn’t it be the opposite? If you’re a Dem, you’d love to run against a guy named Bush, especially if you’re carrying the dynastic liability of nominating someone named Clinton. Or do Democrats really think Jeb would be that formidable in the general?

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