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January 17, 2014

Five myths about Chris Christie

(Continued)

5. Bridgegate diminishes his chances in 2016.

The best news for Christie in the wake of the George Washington Bridge scandal is that it hit right after his reelection and more than 700 days before the Iowa caucuses. But the calendar isn't the only reason political prognosticators should be careful about writing Christie off as a GOP presidential player in 2016.

Consider that most of his potential presidential opponents have avoided slamming him on the controversy. Or that a New Hampshire poll released Thursday showed him leading all Republican comers - by a larger margin than in September. Most of those questioned had heard of Bridgegate, and 14 percent of GOP voters said it made them like him more.

Yes, Christie was scorned in a (hilarious) "Born to Run" parody by Bruce Springsteen and Jimmy Fallon. But there could be worse things for a Republican with base troubles than to get raked through the coals by the media elite.

Christie's political advisers say interest was high for fundraisers he's hosting this weekend in Florida, and national donors are calling to express support. The road to 2016 may now have some more traffic on it, but if Christie's name doesn't make a damning appearance in a subpoenaed Bridgegate document, he will have the cash and connections to mount a strong bid for the presidency.

Katz has covered Chris Christie since 2011, first for the Philadelphia Inquirer and now for WNYC and New Jersey Public Radio.

 

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