As New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie heads toward an easy re-election, a new poll shows likely Garden State voters say the Republican should run for president in 2016.
By a 48%-41% margin, likely voters in the Quinnipiac Poll released Tuesday say Christie should seek the White House. That includes 72% of Republicans and 50% of independents, but only 28% of Democrats in the predominantly blue state, the poll showed.
Christie, who has said he won't rule out a White House bid, leads Democrat Barbara Buono by a commanding 64% to 31% in next week's gubernatorial election. While early public opinion polls on the 2016 presidential race show Christie at or near the top among potential GOP candidates, he has maintained an "ask me later" stance.
"I can walk and chew gum at the same time," Christie said at a debate against Buono earlier this month. "I can do this job and also deal with my future."
In an interview Tuesday, the governor declined to commit to serving a full four-year term if he wins on Nov. 5. "I'm committed to being the best governor New Jersey can have for as long as I can possibly do it," Christie told George Stephanopoulos on ABC's Good Morning America. "But, you know, George, neither one of us have a crystal ball and know what's going to happen in the future."
While about half of New Jersey's likely voters believe Christie should run in 2016, they are about evenly split about whether he'd be a good president — with 42% saying "yes" and 43% saying "no." Not surprisingly, 7 in 10 Republicans in the Quinnipiac Poll say Christie would make a good president while 19% of Democrats don't think so.