Christie may be the unlikely savior of Bush and Kasich

posted at 9:21 am on February 9, 2016 by Jazz Shaw

Who saw this coming?

The plan for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was pretty clear on Saturday night. Go into the debate and “punch Marco Rubio in the face” until he cried uncle. After his surprising finish in Iowa, Christie knew that he needed to put the brakes on Marcomentum or he would be packing his bags after today and heading back to the Garden State, facing what would almost undoubtedly be the end of his career in public service. The presumed goal in the long game was that as Rubio sagged, Christie would be the one to benefit and fill the vacuum.

But the latest polls going into the First in the Nation Primary seem to be showing something else entirely. If Rubio is held back from a second place finish, it may actually be one of the other governors who reaps the benefits. (Chicago Tribune)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, now in the single digits in New Hampshire, had nothing to lose on Saturday night by going into attack mode against Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. But in overdoing it, and more important, overlooking his real objective, he may have only helped Jeb Bush and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who had strong nights without making themselves seem overbearing. Sure, Bush had been baiting Rubio all week with slurs on his readiness and preparation, but in the face-to-face moment Bush barely touched Rubio and instead fired at Donald Trump, especially on eminent domain. Kasich did not have to lay a finger on anyone; he simply nailed down his message as an upbeat, competent governor.

Christie’s problem is not Rubio, at least not now. Rather, it is that he trails two other governors in a race in which he must beat both to continue the argument of his candidacy. Does he pass Bush, who had the best debate of his campaign and who leads Christie by almost 4 points in the RealClearPolitics averages? Maybe, but not likely. Does he pass Kasich, who leads Christie by 7 points in the RCP averages? That’s more unlikely, although possible.

It’s an interesting theory, and I can’t deny that the final tracking polls would seem to support it. The final CNN/WMUR poll has Kasich at 10, Bush at 7 and Christie bringing up the rear with 4. If you prefer the somewhat crazier Emerson poll that AP highlighted last night, the numbers for Jeb and John are much higher, but they still leave Christie trailing in single digits.

The question I have is… why didn’t it work? If Christie truly did dent Rubio (which we won’t know until tonight) then where’s the love for the guy who was actually in the ring with him? The linked article is quick to blame it on Christie being “too overbearing” while the other governors were able to sit back and watch the bloodbath. But if the voters don’t care for overbearing, then how do you explain the 800 lb. gorilla who remains steadily in a double digit lead? (See Trump, Donald) Let’s face it, when it comes to The Donald’s demeanor on the campaign trail, “overbearing” probably only applies on a slow day when he hasn’t gotten enough sleep.

Personally I think that Trump has thrown a monkey wrench in the polling this year and the fact that so many of these surveys are still turning up results all over the map seems to back that up. But if those final two surveys wind up holding any water at all, I’ll at least agree with one premise of the Trib’s article: both Kasich and Bush should send Chris Christie a big bouquet of roses if they live to move on to South Carolina and beyond. For that matter, Trump should probably buy Chris a new car, because the more establishment candidates we keep in the race past Super Tuesday, the smoother his glide path to Cleveland is looking.

ChristieOut


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Comments

Personally I think that Trump has thrown a monkey wrench in the polling this year and the fact that so many of these surveys are still turning up results all over the map seems to back that up.

Oh, please.

Polling has been going down for years, and the New Hampshire polling has been notoriously bad over the last few decades.

The idea that we’re still paying attention to New Hampshire polls after their horrendous history is a bit ridiculous. But, I guess content has to come from somewhere.

TheJamesMadison on February 9, 2016 at 9:25 AM

Levin exposes Christie.

justltl on February 9, 2016 at 9:26 AM

Yeb, Kasich, and Krispy Kreme would all make better Democrats than Republicans. Hell, any of them would probably win the nomination over Bernie and Hill.

cornbred on February 9, 2016 at 9:27 AM

…Revenge Of The Governators…

Pelosi Schmelosi on February 9, 2016 at 9:29 AM

I hope so as Kasich is the only Reagan conservative in the room, and he grew up dirt poor so he knows what it means to struggle.

Bishop on February 9, 2016 at 9:31 AM

BTW, I haven’t listened to Levin in some time. He shreds Christie in the link I put up there.
I hafta start listening to Levin again.

justltl on February 9, 2016 at 9:32 AM

¡Christie Kreme! did a decent job of beating up ¡Marco! for the empty suit that he is.

And may have vaulted ¡Jeb! to second place.

If you want ¡Jeb! to stay in and keep soaking up establishment donor cash (which is necessary to prevent Rubio from having a shot to win) hope he finishes SECOND.

The only shot the Establishment has in preventing either Trump or Cruz is to stand up to ¡Jeb! and make him GET OUT.

Which they won’t do. Because everyone knows the Establishment are a bunch of pu$$ies.

ConstantineXI on February 9, 2016 at 9:33 AM

Just seen him hugging the degenerate Granny in some green room.

Wasn’t smooching with Obama enough?

mudskipper on February 9, 2016 at 9:34 AM

…Governator III: The Fall Of The Machine…

Pelosi Schmelosi on February 9, 2016 at 9:37 AM

“Who saw this coming?”

Watching the media talking about why Chris Christie has such a harsh tone toward Marco Rubio is actually quite funny. The role of Christie in the GOPe larger political scheme has ALWAYS been to use him as the junk yard dog.

It is, quite simply, his job.

http://theconservativetreehouse.com/2016/02/04/chris-christie-attacks-marco-rubio-and-people-are-shocked-shocked/

ebrown2 on February 9, 2016 at 9:37 AM

Let’s face it, when it comes to The Donald’s demeanor on the campaign trail, “overbearing” probably only applies on a slow day when he hasn’t gotten enough sleep.

Been taking Snark lessons from AP there Jazz?

Rogue on February 9, 2016 at 9:41 AM

The question I have is… why didn’t it work? If Christie truly did dent Rubio (which we won’t know until tonight) then where’s the love for the guy who was actually in the ring with him?

Gee, I don’t know. Maybe it’s because the sole qualification for president isn’t: “Can you beat up Rubio in a debate?”

Despite his great performance at the debate, can anyone name one thing that Christie said that was positive about his own candidacy and his own qualifications? Anything that made people sit up and say: “That’s MY guy.”

Crickets.

PackerBronco on February 9, 2016 at 9:46 AM

I hope so as Kasich is the only Reagan conservative in the room, and he grew up dirt poor so he knows what it means to struggle.

Bishop on February 9, 2016 at 9:31 AM

Kasich’s daddy was a Federal employee of an agency that loses billions of dollars despite having a Federally enforced MONOPOLY…

ConstantineXI on February 9, 2016 at 9:48 AM

If Rubio is held back from a second place finish, it may actually be one of the other governors who reaps the benefits.

Which might be because most GOP voters have not forgotten The Hug.

The_Jacobite on February 9, 2016 at 9:57 AM

Christie did have something to lose. I wasn’t inclined to vote for him, and I’m doubly disinclined now. I don’t like Republicans who try to rise by tearing others down and giving the Democrats a gift. Christie already did that with the Obama embrace and now he’s doing it again. Whose side is he on?

evergreen on February 9, 2016 at 9:57 AM

Gee, I don’t know. Maybe it’s because the sole qualification for president isn’t: “Can you beat up Rubio in a debate?”

Despite his great performance at the debate, can anyone name one thing that Christie said that was positive about his own candidacy and his own qualifications? Anything that made people sit up and say: “That’s MY guy.”

Crickets.

PackerBronco on February 9, 2016 at 9:46 AM

It’s pretty hard not to hear his qualifications, since he prefaces literally every remark he makes by noting that he was a U.S. attorney for seven years, and how it’s completely relevant to everything from killing Taliban soldiers to wombat control. (“Sucky weather today, huh, Chris?” “You bet. And every day I was a U.S. Attorney for seven years, I prosecuted dangerous terrorists in weather just like this.”)

The_Jacobite on February 9, 2016 at 10:00 AM

Christie did have something to lose. I wasn’t inclined to vote for him, and I’m doubly disinclined now. I don’t like Republicans who try to rise by tearing others down and giving the Democrats a gift. Christie already did that with the Obama embrace and now he’s doing it again. Whose side is he on?

evergreen on February 9, 2016 at 9:57 AM


His own.

Never forget this.

ConstantineXI on February 9, 2016 at 10:01 AM

Oh, please.

Polling has been going down for years, and the New Hampshire polling has been notoriously bad over the last few decades.

The idea that we’re still paying attention to New Hampshire polls after their horrendous history is a bit ridiculous. But, I guess content has to come from somewhere.

TheJamesMadison on February 9, 2016 at 9:25 AM

Yup.

Final polls in NH in 2008 had O up anywhere between 4 and 13.

Hillary won by 3.

The_Jacobite on February 9, 2016 at 10:01 AM

Why would Kasich need a savior, Jazz? Didn’t he feed thousands with a little bread, fish, and Obamacare during his sermon on Mount Washington?

cornbred on February 9, 2016 at 10:05 AM

I hope so as Kasich is the only Reagan conservative in the room, and he grew up dirt poor so he knows what it means to struggle.

Bishop on February 9, 2016 at 9:31 AM

First Kasich would have to be a conservative. Then Kasich would have to be Reaganesque. lol

voiceofreason on February 9, 2016 at 10:11 AM

I just can’t trust fat yankee loudmouths who wear their pants up around their chests. Actually, I don’t trust any professional politician. Or, kapitalist, socially leftist Robber Barons. Alfred E. Neuman for me.

vnvet on February 9, 2016 at 10:12 AM

“Sucky weather today, huh, Chris?” “You bet. And every day I was a U.S. Attorney for seven years, I prosecuted dangerous terrorists in weather just like this.”

The_Jacobite on February 9, 2016 at 10:00 AM

Nice.

I believe Christie’s debate performance benefited Trump and Cruz more than anyone else. As the front-runners, those are the two candidates he should’ve gone after.

Syzygy on February 9, 2016 at 10:14 AM

First Kasich would have to be a conservative. Then Kasich would have to be Reaganesque. lol

voiceofreason on February 9, 2016 at 10:11 AM

Kasich is both of those things, denying it makes you look petty.

The man grew up dirt poor, his dad worked multiple jobs as a mailman and karate instructor, his mother was a diesel mechanic who also had to raise John and his 8 siblings.

Is there another candidate who can claim an inspiring life story like this? No, so quit being petty.

Bishop on February 9, 2016 at 10:21 AM

Christie did have something to lose. I wasn’t inclined to vote for him, and I’m doubly disinclined now. I don’t like Republicans who try to rise by tearing others down and giving the Democrats a gift. Christie already did that with the Obama embrace and now he’s doing it again. Whose side is he on?

evergreen on February 9, 2016 at 9:57 AM

Christie is on Christie’s side.

Remember his all-about-me speech at the convention?

onlineanalyst on February 9, 2016 at 10:23 AM

I believe Christie’s debate performance benefited Trump and Cruz more than anyone else. As the front-runners, those are the two candidates he should’ve gone after.

Syzygy on February 9, 2016 at 10:14 AM

Yes. The front-runners and the Democrats. I doubt that anyone watched him rip into Rubio like a rabid dog, and thought, “oh there is my future president!”

Priscilla on February 9, 2016 at 10:34 AM

It doesn’t naturally follow that Christie exposing Rubio would make anyone change their general opinion of Christie. It’s not a mad scientist competition, where people would realize Christie is more mad than Rubio and change bets. All that would happen for certain is that Rubio would be exposed. Rubio would lose popularity and, all things being equal, we might guess that the biggest beneficiary might be the most popular already, the next, next, and so on.

Christie might have helped himself move on the ladder, but he might have moved everyone else, too — basically shifting the whole ladder relative to Rubio.

. . . He can’t just “swap places” with Rubio.

Axe on February 9, 2016 at 10:37 AM

I predict that Fox will declare Rubio the winner if he comes in 2nd, 3rd, or 4th.

Schadenfreude on February 9, 2016 at 10:42 AM

Kasich is both of those things, denying it makes you look petty.

The man grew up dirt poor, his dad worked multiple jobs as a mailman and karate instructor, his mother was a diesel mechanic who also had to raise John and his 8 siblings.

Is there another candidate who can claim an inspiring life story like this? No, so quit being petty.

Bishop on February 9, 2016 at 10:21 AM

I’m not sure how true this is as I can’t find the source, but I recall reading that Mrs. Kasich was Ron Reagan Jr.’s ballet teacher. I guess it was something she did part time for extra money to supplement her husband’s joint mail delivery and karate income.

BobM88 on February 9, 2016 at 10:42 AM

“You don’t struggle until you schtruggle” — Michelle obama

Schadenfreude on February 9, 2016 at 10:44 AM

All that would happen for certain is that Rubio would be exposed.

Rubio wasn’t exposed, he was slimed. It’s exactly what Trump has been doing to Cruz. Anyone who already considered Rubio a talking points robot saw him “exposed”, just as anyone who sees Cruz as a lying, sneaky dirtbag, has seen him “exposed” by Trump. Anyone who likes Rubio had already factored in his over reliance on talking points, but believes his conservative vision is what makes him the best candidate – that, and his likeablity. The ever-fickle “undecideds” were probably turned off to both Rubio and Christie.

None of these tough guys have the balls to really attack Trump. And, even if they did, it would likely backfire on them.

Priscilla on February 9, 2016 at 10:48 AM

Rubio wasn’t exposed, he was slimed. It’s exactly what Trump has been doing to Cruz. Anyone who already considered Rubio a talking points robot saw him “exposed”, just as anyone who sees Cruz as a lying, sneaky dirtbag, has seen him “exposed” by Trump. Anyone who likes Rubio had already factored in his over reliance on talking points, but believes his conservative vision is what makes him the best candidate – that, and his likeablity. The ever-fickle “undecideds” were probably turned off to both Rubio and Christie.

None of these tough guys have the balls to really attack Trump. And, even if they did, it would likely backfire on them.

Priscilla on February 9, 2016 at 10:48 AM

K.

Axe on February 9, 2016 at 10:57 AM

OT/Primary Results — This one’s not bad. http://www.politico.com/2016-election/results/map/president/new-hampshire

Axe on February 9, 2016 at 11:02 AM

Axe, aside from keeping hope alive, did your OT mean on topic? :)

Schadenfreude on February 9, 2016 at 11:12 AM

Axe, aside from keeping hope alive, did your OT mean on topic? :)

Schadenfreude on February 9, 2016 at 11:12 AM

It didn’t occur to me that my post may have actually been on topic. :)

Strange feeling.

Axe on February 9, 2016 at 11:16 AM

Hang in there Newt Axe :)

Schadenfreude on February 9, 2016 at 11:20 AM

Honestly I don’t care if it helped Kasich or Jeb! After all the positive attention Rubio received after placing third place, I’m sure I’m not the only one who wanted him to be knocked down a peg or two.

And really, did Christie’s attack seem unwarranted? So if he didn’t evenly split out attacks among all the other candidates then somehow it’s unfair, what are we… Attack Socialists??? Puh-lease.

Fact is that Rubio has been getting far too much a pass on his immigration views (people need to bring up his pre-Senate career, Univision interviews, etc). And he’s been riding on pretty much variations of the same speech since he was elected.

What I really find funny is that it wasn’t Trump that attached the “robot” stigma to Rubio, that “thirsty” nickname didn’t really stick like Marco Robot will.

Ukiah on February 9, 2016 at 11:40 AM

Kasich is both of those things, denying it makes you look petty.

The man grew up dirt poor, his dad worked multiple jobs as a mailman and karate instructor, his mother was a diesel mechanic who also had to raise John and his 8 siblings.

Is there another candidate who can claim an inspiring life story like this? No, so quit being petty.

Bishop on February 9, 2016 at 10:21 AM

So according to you, I am to believe the above is both the definition of “conservative” and “Reaganesque”.

Wow…

voiceofreason on February 9, 2016 at 11:52 AM

OT/Primary Results — This one’s not bad. http://www.politico.com/2016-election/results/map/president/new-hampshire

Axe on February 9, 2016 at 11:02 AM

How the fluck does Hillary already have 6 delegates allocated to her?!

Rix on February 9, 2016 at 11:55 AM

The real news of the day

Schadenfreude on February 9, 2016 at 1:06 PM

He threw Jeb a lifeline, so he earned a ticket to the veepstakes, and he will probably see a fundraising boost as an a tough guy Trump alternative. Kasich will likely get a ticket out of NH, and this means the establishment lane remains crowded for Trump. They have to keep him viable, or he’ll run third party as of March 1. Pushing Rubio down to fight with Cruz for fourth or fifth place weakens both of their campaigns, and Rubio will have to attack Cruz again in a fight for his political life. It will go to convention, and Jeb’s the nominee!

ezspirit on February 9, 2016 at 1:56 PM

And if Jeb’s the nominee,Clinton will be President. Come off it,how many conservatives are going to show up for Jeb in November?.Probably just as many that showed up for McCain and Romney!

redware on February 9, 2016 at 2:27 PM