By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog
Updated – It’s official, Save Jerseyans:
I am excited to announce I will actively explore the possibility of running for President of the United States: https://t.co/luY4lCF2cA.
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) December 16, 2014
The New Jersey angle: this announcement is arguably a major complication for Gov. Chris Christie who (promised his own presidential announcement sometime in 2015) since Jeb would compete directly for the establishment/mega-donor base that’s been good to the New Jersey Governor but nevertheless harbors some concern over the loose ends of Bridgegate. Christie-booster Ken Langone isn’t worried; he recently declared that Christie could beat Bush in a head-to-head contest.
At the moment, however, Jeb leads the GOP 2016 RCP average by 4.5-points over Christie who’s in second place. A new poll from our state’s own Patrick Murray over at Monmouth University found Christie and Jeb running close among Republicans but with Jeb edging the New Jerseyan in the critical favorability category among self-identified tea partiers:
“Overall, Chris Christie gets a favorable rating from 36% of GOP voters and an unfavorable rating from a similar 34%. He does better among those who are not aligned with the Tea Party – 41% favorable to 27% unfavorable, but is viewed negatively by Tea Party supporters – 27% favorable to 46% unfavorable. Christie is the only candidate tested in the poll with an “upside down” rating among Tea Party-aligned Republicans.
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is another high-profile contender who gets mixed ratings from Republican voters – 39% favorable to 30% unfavorable. Tea Party supporters are evenly divided on Bush – 39% positive to 38% negative, while those unaligned with the Tea Party give him a more positive 39% favorable to 24% unfavorable rating.”
Tuesday’s move can only be seen as an attempt to box our other potential establishment-preferred challengers (Christie, Romney); a Bush candidacy also likely precludes a run by conservative U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), a Bush ally.”
If Christie forges ahead and they both run? Wow… great for political bloggers! And Gov. Christie has a network of his own, and a reputation for taking on uphill climbs (going back to when he tried to primary Michael Patrick Carroll in ’95). But I think the odds of Christie 2016 just got a little bit longer today. Not over. Just longer…