The POLITICO Caucus: Christie slips from first tier

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The POLITICO Caucus Christie slips from first tier - James Hohmann - POLITICO


Twice as many early state insiders believe that New Jersey’s credit downgrades are a bigger problem for Chris Christie’s presidential hopes than the Bridgegate traffic scandal.

This week’s survey of The POLITICO Caucus – a bipartisan group of key activists, operatives and thought leaders in Iowa and New Hampshire — reveals a pervasive feeling that Christie has slipped out of the top tier of candidates. Just two of 81 respondents believe that the governor will win their state’s Republican caucus or primary next year...

...Asked what Christie can do to re-emerge as a top-tier candidate, the most common piece of advice from people in both parties is to run a shoe-leather campaign in which he embraces the role of underdog and ditches his large entourage.

“He needs to demonstrate that he understands that the verb ‘listen’ is passive,” said a New Hampshire Republican.

“Pick and win a fight with Bush,” said an Iowa Republican.

“Get two or three ideas that test well among Republicans but drive the left insane,” added another New Hampshire Republican. “Make them so appealing that Democrats and other liberal groups take the catnip and attack, reminding the GOP base that you are on their team.”..

...A narrow majority of Republicans surveyed in both Iowa and New Hampshire believe that someone like Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio can win their state despite supporting some form of legal status for those who entered the country illegally.

“If the field is fragmented enough, and I think it will be, then yes,” said an Iowa Republican.

Immigration is back in the news this week after a federal judge temporarily halted the implementation of President Barack Obama’s executive orders to defer deportation. Rubio, who co-sponsored a bipartisan comprehensive immigration bill that included a pathway to citizenship, is on a book tour that took him to Iowa last week and will bring him to New Hampshire next week.

Bush, who remarked last year that those who come to the U.S. illegally do so as “an act of love,” publicly criticized President Barack Obama’s executive order this week, saying it sets back the cause of broader reform.

While many insiders argue that anyone who is perceived as supporting amnesty can’t win, others note that there are very few candidates who have been totally pure on the issue."

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Pretty interesting analysis.

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