Yesterday, Chris Christie gave a speech at CPAC 2014 that many in the media are considering a resounding success.
Not because Christie came into that hotel in Maryland and blew everyone away with a heavy dose of juicy conservative one-liners (as so many try to do at the yearly conference), but because he largely did no harm to himself with a group that, at least on the national level, has been a bit hesitant to get behind him.
Pretty soon we should be able to see how this “do no harm” strategy worked out, because the poll numbers that created the backdrop for this speech are not looking pretty…
The latest Fox News/Anderson Roberts Research Poll, which is being widely reported as showing President Obama’s lowest approval rating yet, is showing that in just one years time, registered voters have generally lost a significant amount of faith in Governor Christie’s potential for a promotion to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and Republicans may be mostly to blame.
In February of 2013, when asked if Governor Christie would make good President, 37% of respondents said yes, while only 33% said no. Fast forward to today, and now 24% say yes and a solid 52% say no. That has to sting.
Digging deeper into the data things do not get any better. 50% of both Republicans and Independents responded no, while almost surprisingly only 54% of Democrats felt the same way.
So is there a way back up?
Of course there is. Christie made some great points yesterday in his CPAC speech that just might resonate. The idea that Republicans need to actually win elections before they can throw their weight around in Washington, D.C. is a message that seems to be lost on many movement conservatives, but when Christie dropped that line today the crowd seemed to approve. Lines about our ideas being better than those of the left, and not letting the media define conservatives were also crowd pleasers. He also reportedly received a larger applause and sustained standing ovation, where Senator Ted Cruz, who you might assume would thrive in this CPAC environment, did not.
Either way, it wont be long before we find out the speech’s effect on the Republican base, the next poll is always just around the corner.