The obvious takeaway from the new Pew poll on Chris Christie is that Christie's unfavorable numbers are way up:
Last January, following Christie's visible role in Hurricane Sandy relief efforts, favorable opinions outnumbered unfavorable ones by more than two-to-one. Today, in the wake of a scandal involving highway lane closures that led to massive traffic jams in northern New Jersey, nearly as many offer an unfavorable assessment of Christie as a favorable one.His unfavorable numbers have gone up by double digits in every group -- except (naturally) Republicans.
But notice what's happened to his favorable ratings: they're way down among college graduates, but up 6 among high school grads and dropouts. They're up among senior citizens (even as they've dropped significantly in the 50-64 age group) -- and there's a tiny uptick in the 18-29 group). And they're unchanged among Republicans and independents:
Some of this is probably the result of small subsample sizes. But the overall pattern is there -- Christie fans are still fans.
And please note that Christie may be a "bipartisan" and a "moderate," but he has more fans among tea party types than among non-teabagger Republicans -- a testament to the power of the first impressions conveyed by Fox when it retransmitted all those early trash-talk videos:
My prediction: Christie's going to survive, and he's going to be competitive in 2016. He's in trouble only if he's directly, unambiguously linked to any of his scandals -- already it's widely accepted, even by members of the so-called liberal media who should no better, that Christie is an unfortunate innocent tragically victimized by an overzealous staff. He seems smart enough not to have ever had his name on an incriminating memo, email, or text. So yeah, he'll be fine.
No surprise, of course -- these days, no one at the very top is ever at fault for anything. Ask Rupert Murdoch. Ask Jamie Dimon. In fact, in that interview with Matt Bai yesterday, Christie actually compared himself to Dimon, on the assumption that this would make him seem more sympathetic. In our preposterous culture, that's a safe assumption:
You know, the fact is, as I said at the press conference, Matt, if someone doesn't tell you the truth, there is often very little you can do in reaction to that. So, no, anyone who would say that has no appreciation for what it's like to be governor or, frankly, chief executive of any kind of major organization.We may as well hand out desk plaques to every executive in the First World that say, "The buck never stops here."
That's like saying any of these folks who've been in trouble in the banking industry, like the JPMorgan Chase thing -- how could Jamie Dimon not have known about a trade that was being put on by a trader in London? Well, you know, I think it's fairly safe to say that Jamie Dimon didn't know that a trade was being put on, and that when people lied about it, he didn't know they were lying. So it happens. It's awful when it does. Because it's a breach of trust.