It would be easier to dismiss [Hoboken Mayor Dawn] Zimmer if not for the bridge closure. And it would be easier to explain away the bridge closure if not for Zimmer. That’s the problem for Christie: These stories are beginning to build. Each new revelation makes the past scandals more believable — and more damaging. And each new story intensifies the media’s efforts to find more. The problem for Christie isn’t what his aides did. It’s what they thought he wanted them to do.

If you leave New Jersey for a weekend, be ready for people to ask you about Gov. Chris Christie.

He’s the hottest property in American politics and the most compelling personality the state has produced since Tony Soprano. Polls say he is now the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination.

But if they ask, be sure to tell them this as well: He is the most overrated governor in America.

Yes, he’s a skilled politician and a talented deal-maker who, for his first two years in office, got nearly everything he wanted from the Democratic Legislature.

But it hasn’t worked. New Jersey’s economy is a mess, even compared with its neighbors. The property tax burden is up sharply. Poverty is rising. And the state’s credit rating has dropped on Christie’s watch as the long-range outlook deteriorates. His successor will inherit a bigger mess than he did.

“I don’t think any responsible governor at this point would call for a special election that would cost $10 million.” - “The Daily Show” on Wednesday flagged audio from a 2009 press conference in which then governor-elect Christie said he didn’t think a responsible governor would call for a pricey special election.
There is a lot of skepticism about Christie from conservative voters. Among those identifying as ‘very conservative’ 35% see him positively to 36% with a negative opinion. Christie’s overall net favorability of +12 at 41/29 ranks him 8th most popular out of the 9 Republicans we looked at, leading only Susana Martinez who is not yet well known on a national level.

Rubio leads the Republicans among conservatives, while Christie has the advantage with moderates. The problem for Christie is that only 19% of primary voters are moderates while 74% are conservatives.
Mr. Christie’s failure to be invited [to CPAC] is not a mere oversight; virtually every other prominent Republican who might be a plausible nominee in 2016 has been asked to participate. … Now that he’s been “outed” as a moderate, it may be hard to close the closet door.

Mr. Christie, meanwhile, will need to consider whether to compete for the Republican nomination in 2016. While the mainstream media tends to chronically overrate the likelihood of a viable independent bid for the presidency, Mr. Christie would be better positioned to seek one than most, with very high favorability ratings among independent voters and the access to money and news media attention that comes from being a prominent politician in the Northeast.