Saturday, September 24, 2011

Chris Christie Preparing to Announce Whether He Will Run for President?

In the wake of Rick Perry's disastrous performance in the September debates, there is renewed pressure on Chris Christie to enter the race. Republicans have long felt that there was a void in the field, an absence of a candidate who could unite the Tea Party and Republican establishment. Perry intended to fill that vacuum. But Rick Perry was badly hurt by the debates. Perry was supposed to save the Party from Michele Bachmann; now Republicans hope Christie will save the Party from Perry (and Mitt Romney).

It has now been reported by many media outlets--led by NewsMax--that Christie will announce whether he will run for president within the next several days. According to the reports, Christie has been secretly meeting with top Republican donors, whose money has remained on the sidelines thus far. Contrary to his public denials, Christie supposedly told the donors he has not yet made up his mind whether he will run.

Christie's aides have denied the reports. Intrade investors' speculations are increasing, however. On the Intrade market for the odds of Christie running for president, there has been a sharp spike since the reports. Intrade has been skeptical of Christie from the beginning: His odds of entering the race have consistently been below 5%. In the last 24 hours, they have jumped to over 20%.

But supposing the reports are true, what would it mean? It would not guarantee that Christie will actually enter the race. Rather, it would mean the following:

1. Christie will make a definitive announcement within the next several days.
2. Christie's denials up until this point have been meaningless.

While most have taken Christie's repeated denials of intention to run at face value, Elephant Watcher has cautioned that none of Christie's denials were made in a convincing manner, the formula by which candidates actually decline to run. Both Barack Obama and Rick Perry also emphatically denied any intention to run for president--before entering the race.

Christie's decision will have an extraordinary impact on the outcome of the Republican primary. Even if NewsMax's report is untrue, Christie is under immense pressure to run. The next few weeks are critical.