William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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CHRISTIE ROMPS – AT 9:56 A.M. ET:  Chris Christie is, of course, the ultra-high-profile Republican governor of a Democratic state.  He's up for re-election this year, his last gubernatorial run before the 2016 presidential election.   He is doing spectacularly well with the voters:

TRENTON, NJ — Gov. Chris Christie has shattered another public opinion poll record by scoring a 74 percent job approval rating, the highest of any governor in 17 years of Quinnipiac University surveys.

Respondents also overwhelmingly said the brash-talking Republican deserves re-election this year.

The poll released Wednesday shows Christie leading his likely Democratic challenger, state Sen. Barbara Buono, by 37 percentage points. And 83 percent of respondents said they don't know enough about Buono to have an opinion about her.

Christie leads Buono among every demographic group except Democrats. He also holds a 50-percentage-point lead among independent voters.

COMMENT:  Great work by Chris.  However, I strongly recommend that readers not try to translate this local popularity into presidential politics.  Christie is brash, often contradictory, and not very "presidential."  He periodically gets into trouble by seeming to take Democratic positions.  He has a serious weight problem that inevitably raises questions about his health.  When people hear him they tend to think "governor," not "president."

So Christie's local popularity may not translate well to the national stage.  It hasn't so far. 

I think our stance toward Christie should be "restrained enthusiasm."  Marco Rubio would make a much better presidential candidate.  Christie might work in the second slot.

February 20, 2013