When I see these rather convoluted polls about whether people want this or that politician to run for president, I generally only pay attention to the negative numbers in the pol’s own party. And so with the new CBS/New York Times survey out today, the only number that strikes me as meaningful is that 41% of self-identified Republicans don’t want Chris Christie in the 2016 field, as opposed to 31% who would like him around.
The whole conceit behind the early Christie Bandwagon that was rolling along merrily after his re-election last fall was that he was so overwhelmingly “electable” that the Republican Establishment could ease him past the ideological resistance of “the base,” which would at least suspend judgment on the Jersey Governor until the 2016 general election dynamics were clearer. Now that he’s looking much less like a general election winner, why would conservatives want him to run? Turns out, they don’t. And thus the whole rationale for his candidacy continues to unravel, whether or not his troubles eventually make him that ripest of targets: a former prosecutor turned defendant.