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Gov. Christie Will Not Run for President, Cain tied for Second in Latest Post/ABC News Poll

by | Oct 4, 2011

By Dave Andrusko

Already characterized by numerous zigs and zags, the trail to the Republican presidential nomination took another twist this afternoon when pro-life New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie declared that he is not a candidate for his party’s presidential nomination. His decision, widely anticipated, comes against a backdrop in which pro-life businessman Herman Cain has moved into a tie for second place in the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll behind pro-life former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

In a nearly hour-long press conference held at the New Jersey statehouse, Christie told a room full of reporters that he had “explored the options,” thought seriously about running, but that “in the end, what I’ve always felt was the right decision remains the right decision today.”

“Now is not my time.”

 

There was so much buzz about his possible candidacy that the press conference in Trenton was covered by many cable news stations. Christie, 49 and first elected in 2009, explained that he “never really wanted” to reconsider his past refusals to run but was compelled to rethink his plans by an overwhelming sentiment from ”people all over the country.”

But in the end, “I have a commitment to New Jersey that I will not abandon,” Christie said. “The deciding factor was it did not feel right to me, in my gut, to leave now when the job is not finished.”

Meanwhile a Washington Post/ABC News poll published in the Post today found a surge of support for Mr. Cain. The 1,002 respondents were asked only about announced candidates — which meant no mention of Christie or former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin— with Cain tying Texas Gov. Rick Perry for second place at 16%, nine percentage points behind Romney.

This represents “a 13-point drop for Perry and a 12-point rise for Cain since early September,” write Dan Balz and Jon Cohen. Mr. Romney’s total is unchanged from a month ago.

Following the three frontrunners are Rep. Ron Paul (11%), former House speaker Newt Gingrich and Rep. Michele Bachmann (both with 7%), former senator Rick Santorum (2%), and former Utah governor Jon Huntsman Jr. (1%).

There were at least two pieces of good news for Republicans in the poll. “More than eight in 10 say the eventual GOP nominee is likely to beat President Obama next year,” according to Balz and Cohen. In addition

“Obama’s approval rating — while not significantly different from a month ago — is at a new career low, his disapproval number at a new high. In all, 42 percent approve of the job he is doing, while 54 percent disapprove. Barely more than a third of independents give the president positive marks, as 60 percent now disapprove, a new high. For the first time, fewer than half of moderates approve of the way Obama is handling his job.”

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Categories: Politics