But three sources who are aware of the discussions in Christieland said their perception is it’s likelier than not that he stays out of the 2012 race.
However, all three said the same thing – it’s a family discussion between Christie and his wife Mary Pat, and he could still decide to run.
The path, as two sources who are aware of some of the discussions told me, for a Christie run would likely be to perform strongly in Iowa (which wouldn’t mean winning) and then use that to springboard into New Hampshire and duke it out with Mitt Romney for what is essentially Romney’s home state.
It’s not impossible, and it would become a personality dogfight in which Christie might succeed – especially since he tends to resonate with people. But it is a tough campaign, made tougher without months of preparedness in terms of early-state operations, self-vetting and fundraising – all with a newly-condensed primary calendar.