Christie’s Chances in 2016 are Overrated

Nate Silver: The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza has New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as the second most likely Republican presidential nominee after Rand Paul. University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato lists Christie as one of the top four candidates, along with Paul, Jeb Bush and Scott Walker. And the betting market BetFair had Christie as the fourth most likely as of midmorning Tuesday.”

“These assessments seem much too bullish; Christie has three fundamental problems that are likely to prevent him from becoming the GOP’s candidate. It might be possible to overcome any one of these, but two is very difficult and three is almost impossible.”

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  • navamske

    University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato lists Christie as one of the top four candidates.

    Krispie is the top four candidates.

    • pywaket_1

      No, he merely ate them for brunch…

  • Buford2k11

    Only three problems? what, he has to beat Moe, Larry and Curly?

  • growe

    I generally agree, but then, Rand Paul and Chris Christie seem equally defective in different ways.
    Jeb Bush is busy testing family name-donor connections to see if he can crowd out rivals.

    But this is a weak field: first term Senator, two second term Govs with baggage, a former Gov?
    “Top 4 candidates” is not a hard ceiling to crack, is what I am saying.

    However: Nate’s three “Christie hurdles” are very interesting and well thought out. He lost his electability narrative – he is likely unacceptably moderate for GOP primaries – he lacks the discipline to shut up and avoid making comments or news on controversy when it is not helpful to him….

    • tgold2

      If it consists of Bush, Christie, Paul, Kasich, Rubio, Walker, Pence and Huckabee among others, I would consider that a fairly strong field of candidates for the Republicans – especially compared to 2012 and even 2008.

      • cbbruuno

        Agreed. There are actually some pretty solid looking candidates this time around (if they choose to run). Bush, Kasich, Walker, and Pence would all be formidable general election candidates. Paul and Huckabee have good chance to be strong in the primaries. Christie isn’t going anywhere though. Undecided on Rubio, feel like he just isn’t ready.

        • evave2

          Pence just appears to be so boring to me. I “think” that part of becoming President is having people “OK” with seeing you in their lives for four years. Jeb and Paul are people I “could” stand (I don’t gag when I hear them) but that doesn’t mean I could stand them for four years.

          • cbbruuno

            Rand Paul has a LOT of problems. He is just a sleazy version of his father when it comes down to it. He has been given a pretty free ride the last couple of years, just wait until he starts getting the treatment and scrutiny all serious presidential candidates get

      • pisher

        But not compared to anything before 2008. They’re all either badly damaged, or else simply unknown to the voters outside their states.

        Anyway, NONE of these people are officially running yet. So how strong can we say the field is before we know who’s in it?

      • growe

        I see your point but 2008 and 2012 fields were surprisingly weak; having clowns like Bachmann and Perry kept Romney from being challenged or toughening up.

        George HW Bush takes the cake as someone with an adequate but not strong resume who managed to get VP slot and go on to be President. Never a Governor, never a Senator, he takes a year at CIA and two years in China, two terms in Congress from the 1960s and launches to Veep? THAT is impressive. And look what it got us.

        • navamske

          Never a Governor, never a Senator, [Old Bush] takes a year at CIA and two years in China, two terms in Congress from the 1960s and launches to Veep? THAT is impressive. And look what it got us.

          He was also Ambassador to the UN and, I think, chairman of the Republican Party (during the best parts of the Watergate scandal). I agree with your implied point, that he never would have been taken seriously as a presidential candidate if Reagan had not elevated him to the vice presidency. But I seem to remember some concerns in 1980 about Reagan’s age, so you’d think there would have been more scrutiny of his choice of running mate (as when McCain inexplicably chose Lady Blah Blah to be one melanoma away from the presidency).

  • cbbruuno

    Gee, really? Well I have been saying this for years now (too moderate for primaries, too temperamental for general) but at this point anyone with half a brain could have figured this out. He has always been the Rudy Giuliani of this election. Someone the DC media is in love with because he kisses their butts and who has very little appeal outside of the beltway.

  • oldhandatthis

    I’m not sure if it matters exactly how you rank him. Christie is going to run and he is a capable politician who should not be underestimated.

    • pisher

      You think we weigh him too lightly?

      😉

      • CraigRandall1

        Btw, Huck is demanding to stand next to Christie during all debates. It’s a height thing.

        • pisher

          It’s not ONLY a height thing. 😉

          • CraigRandall1

            [watching his TV commercial]
            Thornton Melon: Lou, did you see the new spot?
            Lou: Yeah, I seen it.
            Thornton Melon: Do I look fat in it?
            Lou: You could lose a couple of pounds.
            Thornton Melon: I’ve gotta get bigger actors.

      • DKDC

        Well Christy does have major gravitas. 😉

      • oldhandatthis

        LOL

    • easton

      what evidence do you have that he is capable? Jersey has been down graded a few times under him, the pension system is a complete mess…honestly, where do you see his capability?

      • oldhandatthis

        I’m not talking about his administrative abilities, just his political skills. I’m not a Christie fan, but he has demonstrated political skills, such as forming a successful political alliance with Obama after Sandy hit Jersey and getting reelected.

        And the NJ pension problems are the result of Whitman’s mismanagement although I would say Christie low balled the debt and expenses.

        • easton

          if by his political ability his ability to get away with being corrupt and his ability to work with corrupt Democrats, who cares? Mitt Romney took one look at his history and went running. What plays and is tolerated in Jersey will kill him outside of there.
          He was savvy working with Obama after Sandy (though the clean up has also been corrupt) and that immensely helped his re-election campaign but he can’t run on noun verb Sandy, Guiliani was a similar type politician and he flamed out.

  • CraigRandall1

    I think the chances for the Repub nom are thus: JEB 70%, HUCK 25%, Christie 4%, Paul .5%, Romney .4%, Cruz .1%, Other 0%

    • embo66

      I think you are overestimating Huckabee and underestimating Paul. But I do agree it’s probably JEB’s to lose.

      • CraigRandall1

        Paul>Romney. Cruz: “So you’re telling me there’s a chance. Yeah!” 😉

        • embo66

          I’m saying that Huckabee is last century’s Christian pol. And that Rand Paul says just enough semi-sane and “unexpected” things to delight the media — meaning he will get more mileage than you’d ever expect (for a hypocritical loony). But Cruz is totally out in la-la-land if he thinks anyone but his adoring wingnuts will vote for him. That man burns bridges like they were matches.

      • CraigRandall1

        Paul needs to run in another party. I’d suggest LIBERTARIAN, 3rd party.

    • DKDC

      What about Perry? I’d put his chances above Huckabee but below Rand and well below Jeb.

      • It will be interesting to see Ryan run “ways and means” because he will be sorely tempted. That committee has killed more than a few careers, power corrupts sort of thing.

      • CraigRandall1

        Huck would eat Perry for lunch. I mean in the debates.. oops.

    • keyne

      Kasich? Walker?

  • evave2

    He is like Sean Hannity amped up on lard.

    I have discussions with my husband, who I hate more Hannity or O’Reilly. For me, it’s Hannity. And Christie is just SO MUCH like Hannity.

    Literally, I could not stand 4 years of that guy on the tube telling me “what is going on.”

    • easton

      I have discussions with my husband, who I hate more Hannity or O’Reilly
      you hate your husband more than Hannity or O’Reilly?
      get what you mean it is just that that could be read two ways and I read it this way first

      • evave2

        Thank you for the laugh.

        I happen to love my husband, who is staunch in his hatred to O’Reilly, while I get all sputtery when I see Hannity.

        • growe

          I’m with you, O’Reilly is just the loud drunk uncle at Irish family gatherings (like mine). Hannity has that pompous televangelist “I alone know the truth and everyone is entitle to my opinion” proto-fascist personality.

          • evave2

            There was a TV show called The Sportswriters on TV in the 80s, a bunch of Chicago Sportswriters discussing the weekend news. Sitting around drinking a few beers. ANYHOO, one of them said about Jim McMahon, the much- injured, only-winning Chicago quarterback: he’s Irish so he thinks he can fight and that’s why he’s always injured. Stayed with me for 30 years. That’s O’Reilly. I can SEE him standing up, weaving, You don’t know WHAT you’re talking about.

            Hannity just has a superior smirk all the time. And I DON’T know where either of them get their “facts.” Remember O’Reilley turning the mike off on the 9/11 son who was arguing not to go to war with Iraq, that they still hadn’t found Osama and he wanted THAT dude DEAD and he thought it was some “other” agenda sending us into Iraq. God, what a DICK! But I still fear a stroke whenever Sean Hannity’s face appears on my screen. Just a matter of taste.

  • elizh

    Compared to whom, is the question?

    Looking at the original post, the cluster of Perry/Paul/Ryan/Huckabee are the contenders besides Bush, being both nearly as known and more favorably regarded than Bush. Got to figure at least a couple of them will self-destruct; all might be described as, um, strongly flavored or quirky or something, as indeed Christie is. Would Huckabee be the most mainstream of these?

  • pywaket_1

    Nate Silver is overrated.

  • growe

    I think the 538 chart in the article is fascinating. In showing that Christie is left of “current GOP Congress average” it also shows that the GOP has in fact gone far to the right.

    You can see Nixon is far to left of ‘average GOP Congress’ position today. Showing he came in when the country had just swung far to the left and positioned himself ‘conservative for his time.’ Even Reagan falls to the left of GOP-midpoint now – again, ‘conservative in his time.’

    The reason the GOP is in trouble (2014 midterms a short term exception) is that they think the national political pendulum does not move, that they can keep moving right and the nation will follow. Obama winning re-election 2012 was the proof that the voters are not being pulled to the right.

    So Christie may be the “too moderate” (for GOP primaries) solution to a real problem that exists (that no one in GOP shows Nixon-Reagan pragmatism of being center-right to the prevailing environment).

    If you see it that way, excitement among Democrats for Warren and Sanders addresses the opposite problem: the country could be open to more leftie ideas if only they were presented, and liberal base is asking, the country showed in 2012 it has moved left – why are we still pulling center-right like 1992?

    • pywaket_1

      Interesting to note: Rand Paul’s actions and words are sharply at odds with each other. 25th percentile (more liberal than anyone but Christie and Huntsman) on “Public Issue Statements” and way, way to the right, 98th percentile at least (more conservative than anyone named), on “Congressional Voting Record”.

      Also known as: “lying sack of shit”