CNN Poll: Chris Christie Apparent Front-Runner for 2016 Republican Nomination

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A new CNN/ORC survey shows, for the first time, someone truly ahead of the pack in the GOP when there's not a “flare-up” like the government shutdown. That candidate is Chris Christie, New Jersey's boisterous governor, with 24 percent.

Rand Paul is in second place with 13 percent, and Paul Ryan takes 11 percent. Ted Cruz, CNN explains, “who like Paul has made multiple trips this year to the states that kick off the presidential primary and caucus calendar, like Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, stands at 10% in the survey, the only other Republican White House hopeful to get double-digit support.”

Of course, this poll means almost absolutely nothing. The two interesting takeaways have to do with how conservative the Republican Party really is and whether Ted Cruz is the bee's knees. More below the jump.Republicans angling to get elected our president in three years have been taking pot shots at Christie for a while. Their complaint, from Rand Paul's insinuating he's not a real conservative to Rick Perry saying a New Jersey Republican is very different from other Republicans, is that he can't be trusted to carry the mantle of a deeply conservative party. Clearly, Republican voters don't think so. And by the way, Christie is severely conservative, doing everything he can to slash taxes for the rich and education for the people.

The shutdown travesty glued Ted Cruz to the spotlight, where he's basking in the glow of media declarations that he's the country's foremost Republican. Agree with that or not, he's not ruling the roost when it comes down to brass tax: whether he can get himself elected or not. It's not a surprise when you avert your eyes from the Cruz hype in the media; this is possibly the most radical, divisive, least appealing Republican politician in the country — and that's bound to work against him even in his own party.

And what of the other trailers? CNN explains: “Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida is at 9% in the poll, with longtime Texas Gov. and 2012 Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry at 7%, and former two-term Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, who battled eventual GOP nominee Mitt Romney deep into last year's primaries and caucuses, each at 6%.”

Don't worry, Perry is unlikely to keep that 7 percent once he steps back into the spotlight.  

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About Author

Ben Sherman

Ben Sherman has been a BOR staff writer since 2011. A graduate of the University of Texas, Ben has worked on campaigns, in political consulting, and has written for other news outlets like Think Progress. Ben considers campaign finance reform the fundamental challenge of our time because it distorts almost every other issue in American politics.

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