Chris Christie is a smart politician. His full scale embrace of President Obama in the last three days was not done without consideration for the political value going forward. My guess is that Christie has seen enough internal Republican polling to understand that Obama will probably win on next Tuesday. He doesn’t want to be too closely associated with a loser like Mitt Romney. But more importantly he is thinking about 2016. Romney was losing badly until he did his frantic pivot to the center in the first debate. It must be clear to Republicans that a “severe conservative” cannot win a Presidential campaign. Given that Paul Ryan has made it clear that he would like to run for President, that leaves Christie as the centrist candidate in the party. Embracing a Democratic President in bi-partisan ardor, cements that position for 2016.
I think Christie is probably right about Romney losing. The ever dependable Nate Silver has raised Obama’s chance of victory to 79%, the highest it has been since just before the first debate.
Mr. Obama continues to hold the lead in the vast majority of polls in Iowa, Nevada, Ohio and Wisconsin, the states that represent his path of least resistance toward winning the Electoral College. This was particularly apparent on Wednesday, a day when there were a remarkable number of polls, 27, released in the battleground states.
Christie’s apostasy has of course unleashed a fury on the far right. My sense is that if Romney loses the Republican circular firing squad will be out in force. El Rushbo will say Romney lost because he softened his conservative message in the closing weeks, ignoring the clear polling that the moderation was the only thing that got him close.
The closing days are going to be interesting, but I am beginning to feel pretty confident of an Obama victory.