A new Quinnipiac poll shows that Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey currently enjoys a 74-percent approval rating, the highest rating among the governors of the seven states that Quinnipiac polls.
That’s an impressive number. It’s the highest rating Quinnipiac has shown any governor of having in their 17 years of polling. It’s even higher than Obama’s job approval when he was first elected to the presidency.
Quinnipiac also asked those surveyed about a 2016 presidential race between Christie and Hillary Clinton, and as it stands right now, Clinton only beats Christie with 49 percent to his 45, which is within the margin of error.
But here’s the thing about that: Christie will in all likelihood win re-election in New Jersey’s 2014 gubernatorial race, which means that when 2016 comes rolling around, he will have been in the spotlight for an additional two years, whereas Clinton will have been out of the spotlight for four years at that point (or two years, assuming she starts her campaign in mid-2014). All her wonderful accomplishments as Secretary of State, such as…well, there’s probably something–will have been all but forgotten. (At least I think so.)
Regardless, I still think Clinton would beat Christie in 2016. But if he is our Republican candidate, not only would I hope he loses the election, but I might actually vote third party. Normally third-party votes are throwaways, and that’s exactly what I’d be doing. I would want Clinton to win over Christie (I just won’t be able to bring myself to actively vote for her).
I would want Christie to lose because if he fails as president, it would further tarnish the Republican name, thus hurting the chances of any conservatives who run for the presidency in the future. And because Christie is a moderate, he’d probably not be that great.
Clinton, on the other hand, would fail as president, thus hurting the chances of any liberals who run for the presidency in the future. I’ll take a Democrat who damages her party over a Republican who damages his party in any election.
And if Clinton decides not to run in 2016, then we have a much better chance of winning the election. In which case: Rand Paul, be prepared to join the 2016 race, but also be prepared to humble yourself and step aside if Clinton runs, because if she beats you, you probably have no future in the Oval Office. And that’s not a future I want to live in.