Indeed, the consensus among many Springdale residents, and not just those gathered at Neal’s, was that they would be willing to give Christie a chance on the national stage — even if he’s a Northeast Republican.
“It’s hard to tell,” said Janine Perry, a political science professor at the University of Arkansas, when pressed on whether Christie would be well-received by southern Republicans.
“He might do O.K. here, he might be well-received,” Perry said. “But on the other hand, like a lot of southern states, outsiders have a higher threshold for likability.”
Joking aside, the Republicans in Springdale said they were open to a Christie candidacy.
“I like him real well,” said Roy Bradley, conceding his “only reservation” of Christie is he’s from the Northeast.
It’s “another world” in New Jersey, another Neal’s patron said under his breath.
Bradley added, “I will look at him real strong during the primary.”
Yet the timing of Arkansas’ presidential primary, at the end of May in 2016, means the Republican nominee will probably have already been chosen.
Still, Bradley’s assurances could translate into Christie support from deep red Republicans.
“When I think about the Republican Party primary electorate I think of three groups,” said Jay Barth, a politics professor at Hendrix College in Conway, Ark. — country club business Republicans, rural Tea Party Republicans and social conservatives.
“I think Christie is the kind of guy who appeals to the business community,” he said. “It’s a little harder to see him connecting with the other groups both on cultural grounds and on ideological grounds.”
Ok, here goes. I have only been really reading CAF threads for maybe a year or less, so apologies if this has already been done to death. But I want to hear thoughts on Christie. I am not sure I support him myself, so am open. I consider myself a social conservative and haven’t really checked him out so input (factual) welcome. But I kind of like him and have by no means dismissed him. I am still watching him up to the 2016 run. This sounds horribly over personal, but I think he needs to lose some weight if he is serious about running, just for health reasons as much as anything else.