To follow up what Brian wrote, Christie’s tie for third (really second when you remove non-contender Ron Paul) at the CPAC straw poll has a lot of implications.
1) There was no Christie grassroots movement which I could tell – other than a few Jersey CRs and YRs there was no presence of NJ Republicans at CPAC. Every other candidate had some type of support – Students for Daniels, Romney “Mitt-ens”, Gary Johnson libertarians, Palinistas, etc.
2) Speaking to the media and bloggers they all basically expressed support for a Christie run but they were all hesitant about the political timeline which could happen if Christie were to run in ’12. There’s a lot of moving parts and a lot of non-New Jersey residents were worried about what would happen to Jersey if Christie were to go national.
3) Can Christie win in ’12 if he does run? Ann Coulter seems to think he’s our only hope because Romney will be beat by Obama if Romney wins- and I do agree. However, Christie has pretty much flat out refused to run and it seems that CPAC would have been his best test balloon for finding out his chances for ’12 and improving his political brand. In the end, Christie didn’t even show up and wound up placing extremely high. That’s very very telling. The next 5 months should give us a clue on what Team Christie plans to do but if I were a betting man I’d place it all on Christie not running. I just haven’t seen the signs yet.