The Virginia and New Jersey gubernatorial races are going to get a lot of attention in 2013, as they’re the only major elections going on in the post-presidential year; the Virginia race has been solidifying over the past few weeks, and the New Jersey race is going to hinge on whether or not Newark Mayor Cory Booker decides to challenge Chris Christie for the state’s governorship.
Chris Christie’s status as a national-level conservative rock star is looking a little iffy in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, at least at this particular moment, but his popularity and approval rating with New Jersey residents are through the roof. It just isn’t looking like a good time to mount an offensive to unseat Christie in a Democratic upset — and it might be better for his career to wait for 2014 and run for U.S. Senate, if he’s going for a more sure-thing national profile over executive leadership. He’s being totally open about the whole thing, anyway, via the WFB:
Yeah, I am absolutely considering running for governor, as well as giving some other options some consideration. I’m going to be focused on that for the next week to ten days or so, and really come up with a decision that answers my basic question, is, where do I believe… I can make the best difference for the city I love, the state I love, and the nation I’ve pledged my life to. … [My final decision has] got to be within the next two weeks. Especially in New Jersey, ’cause there’s a lot of very good candidates for governor, in New Jersey on the Democratic side, and I’ve got to… be a part of my party’s push forward, whether it’s me as a candidate, or supporting other candidates for that office. … Yeah, I”m actually looking at [a Senate candidacy] a lot as well.
If anybody could manage to oust Chris Christie from his favorable position, it would probably be Booker, but if the Senate seat he’s looking at opens up, it’s more or less a given for him, barring some amazingly huge screw-up. Sounds like he’ll be making the decision pretty quickly here.