Despite Strong Support, Chris Christie Won't Run for President in 2012
Around the State
Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey announced Tuesday that he would not enter the race for the Republican presidential nomination. Speaking at a news conference in Trenton, the governor of the Garden State reiterated his desire to stay out of the race.
“My job here in New Jersey is my passion,” said Christie, who said he did “seriously consider” entering the contest. “I have a commitment to New Jersey that I simply can’t abandon.”
First elected to his current position in 2009, Christie has resisted calls to enter the race during the past year. Those calls amplified in recent weeks as Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, who entered the race in the middle of August, stumbled in national debates and faded in many polls.
Christie has had solid poll numbers and a Washington Post/ABC News poll released Tuesday morning found the New Jersey governor in a close contest with President Barack Obama, losing to the Democratic incumbent by a mere 2 points. Christie, who has won applause from conservatives across the nation for taking on public unions on pensions, placed fourth when matched against the current crop of Republican candidates -- behind former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas and businessman Herman Cain. Christie tied with U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas.
A poll released by Quinnipiac University after Christie made his announcement found that Christie tied Romney to lead the Republican presidential race with 17 percent each. The Q-poll also found that Christie was beating Obama in a possible general election matchup, 45 percent to 42 percent. Christie carried 87 percent of Republicans and beat Obama 45 percent to 37 percent among independents.
Despite leading the pack, Christie remained mostly unknown, according to the Q-poll. While 23 percent of all of those surveyed had a favorable view of the New Jersey governor and 17 percent an unfavorable one, he remained unknown to 59 percent of those surveyed. Christie did better with Republicans -- but still remained relatively unknown. Thirty-seven percent of the Republicans surveyed had a favorable view of Christie while 6 percent saw him as unfavorable. Fifty-seven percent of the Republicans surveyed did not know enough about Christie to express an opinion.
"This survey shows Governor Christie is walking away from the possibility -- at least today -- to be elected president of the United States,” Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said Tuesday. “Whether he would have won the GOP nomination or the election will never be known, but the data indicate he had a serious chance to win it all.”
The Quinnipiac poll of 2,118 registered voters was taken between Sept. 27 and Oct. 3 and had a margin of error of +/- 2.1 percent. This includes 927 Republicans with a margin of error of +/- 3.2 percent.
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