Taking one step closer to a formal announcement that he is running for the 2016 GOP nomination for president, Chris Christie introduced his new political action committee on Monday.
The new PAC, Leadership Matters for America, allows New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to hire staffers to begin to plan his travels across the country and to build his state-by-state campaign machine.
Christie explains on the PAC’s website that “leadership matters” if we want to “restore America’s role in the world.”
The site goes on to lay out Christie’s general focus and goals, such as education, jobs, and fighting the “entrenched special interests” that stand in the way of the “fundamental change” that the nation needs.
Christie may have a long way to go to convince conservatives that his leadership is the sort that they want, however.
Over the weekend, Christie appeared before a guarded audience at Congressman Steve King’s Iowa Freedom Summit, where he tried to assure an audience of conservative activists that he was conservative enough to deserve their support. One can only say he was politely received.
But Christie may have problems in other areas, as well. A recent review of the last 20 years of GOP nominees and winners shows that the New Jersey Governor’s favorability ratings are nowhere near where past nominees and winners have been prior to a primary contest.
“Since 1980, two types of candidates have won presidential nominations when an incumbent president wasn’t running in their party,” FiveThirtyEight’s Harry Enten wrote. He said they were “those who were unfamiliar to voters early in the campaign, and those who were both well known and well liked.”
Christie, Enten found, is known well enough but not very well liked, a combo that puts him outside the track of past candidates. To Enten, at least, Governor Christie’s ratings make his path to the White House unlikely.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at email@example.com.