This Zogby poll is a couple of days old, but I didn’t see it until today. It matches up leading Republican Presidential contenders against Barack Obama. The results are fairly predictable. At this stage, polls like this one are mostly a referendum on the incumbent, and in general, the Republicans fare slightly better or worse based on name recognition. However, as you will see, there are two notable exceptions; click to enlarge:
Based on name recognition, Sarah Palin underperforms while Chris Christie massively overperforms. Moreover, among Republicans Christie was the favorite, preferred by 27% of respondents. No one else came close; Romney was second at 17%. Further, Christie clobbered President Obama among independents, 42-29%.
It is always a mistake to put too much emphasis on one poll, but these results strike me as stunning. While Christie is popular among internet political enthusiasts–i.e., people like us–I had no idea that he had penetrated the public’s awareness to this extent, or this favorably. I still think he needs more than two years as Governor behind him before he thinks about running for President, but if this survey is any indication, he will be a formidable candidate in 2012 or thereafter.
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