The most telling numbers in the NBC poll, though, are Christie’s deficit in the South (43-35) and slim lead among white voters (41-37). Regardless of who the GOP nominee is in 2016, he or she isn’t going to lose the South or come close to losing white voters. Christie’s under-performance in the NBC poll is all about people not knowing who he is.
And a closer look at the NBC numbers above suggests Christie is actually better-positioned than Mitt Romney was in 2012. While Romney lost the Hispanic vote by 44 points, Christie trails by just 11 (and is notably already ahead of Romney’s 27 percent showing, despite a about a quarter of Latino voters being undecided). And while Romney lost young voters by 23 points, Christie trails by just 14. All of this despite Christie’s name ID deficit.
If Christie could lose by only those margins among those demographics, he would probably win. And his performance on Election Day in New Jersey last week suggests that he’s quite capable of doing that.