According to a new poll, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is America’s “hottest” politician right now, but he’ll still probably have the hardest time out of any contender getting the GOP nomination in 2016.
When we say Christie is the “hottest,” we don’t mean sex appeal. The poll, conducted by Quinnipiac, is a temperature poll. Voters were asked to rank politicians from 0-100, cold to hot, representing how they feel about each political figure.
Chris Christie, already a fairly popular (though controversial) political figure, topped the pile with a mean score of 53.1. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was right behind with 52.1 degrees. In third was Senator Elizabeth Warren, the firebrand Democrat from Massachusetts who snapped up Scott Brown’s seat last election, though 51 percent of respondents admitted to not knowing enough about her to make a proper judgment.
President Obama came in fourth with a score of 47.6.
In a surprise to no one who follows politics, Congressional leaders were ranked “coldest” in the poll. Per Politico:
“House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi at 38.4; Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell at 37.5; House Speaker John Boehner at 36.7; and, in last place, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid at 33.8.”
Christie is an odd pol in that he’s incredibly popular (for a Republican, anyway) among Democrats and Independents, but not because of his policy. It has been noted by a variety of political analysts that Christie is a lot more Conservative than he seems to appear, but that it’s his willingness to actually engage in bipartisanship that confuses public perception of him.
And it’s just just the public who are confused. The poll shows that the GOP and its adherents are probably the most confused out of anyone about Christie. When dropped to just Republican numbers, Christie placed eighth after GOP up-and-comers likely to get the 2016 nod. These included Paul Ryan, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Rand Paul, Jeb Bush and Rick Santorum.
Yes, Christie is less popular with Republicans than Rick Santorum.
What does this mean? Chris Christie’s hard-line fiscally conservative stances and policies would probably make him the Republican president that conservatives actually want. But his willingness for bipartisanship (though that would arguably make him a president we all need) might actually prevent him from ever getting into the race. Christie is the GOP’s best chance against Hillary Clinton, but they probably won’t even let him play. Stat practicing “President Clinton” yet again, conservatives.