Voters Think New Jersey's Christie Can Beat Obama
By Paul Bedard
Posted: March 24, 2011
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, the populist union-critic, has finally made it to the top of the heap. In a new IPOBE Zogby Interactive survey, one-in-five likely Republican voters say he would have the best chance to knock off President Obama 2012.
[See photos of the Obamas behind the scenes.]
Pollster John Zogby tells Whispers: "He is gruff, portly, decisive, tough, and conservative. Is he the un-Obama?"
Christie, who's said he doesn't plan to run for the presidency, nearly swept the poll's key questions. When asked, "If the Republican primary for president were held today, for whom would you vote?" Christie was tops at 19 percent. On the question, "Which of the following possible Republican presidential candidates for 2012 do you believe would most likely defeat Barack Obama?" he was first also at 19 percent. And when the likely voters were asked, "Which of the following possible Republican presidential candidates for 2012 do you believe best represents your values and views?" the little-known Christie came in second to celebrity candidate Sarah Palin.
Many establishment Republicans looking for a new face to run in the GOP primaries are hopeful that Christie will consider a bid. Unlike many of those already hinting at a bid, GOP political strategists feel that Christie has a winning budget and spending cuts message and the best delivery. "He's just plain likable," said one. A GOP operative said that the poll is "a testament to what the governor is doing in New Jersey and the strength of his agenda."
The poll was also good news for Palin, who's been seen on a downward slope of popularity over the past few months. Not only did she best Christie as the candidate who likely GOP voters see representing their views, 17 percent to 14 percent, but she was second to him for who voters would pick today to run against Obama in the general election. And when Zogby removed Christie from the presidential preference poll, she topped the nine others in the field, winning 14 percent of the support.
And don't count TV star and real estate mogul Donald Trump out. He was second to Christie on the all important question of which Republican could beat Obama in November 2012.