"They want me to stay," New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) told Fox News's Megyn Kelly when she pointed out a survey showing that 65 percent of his state didn't think he'd do a good job as president. "A lot of those people in that 65 percent want me to stay."
That seems unlikely.
After Quinnipiac University released the poll numbers to which Kelly referred, we looked at how Christie's approval rating had fared in the state since his reelection. Have you ever ridden on a slide?
That's a 34-point drop in net approval (those approving minus those not) since shortly before his reelection. Christie insisted to Kelly that his approval had "bounced back and forth" during his time in office; in reality, it rose in part thanks to his response to Hurricane Sandy and has fallen pretty steadily since.
But there's another way that we know New Jersey isn't clamoring for Christie to stay in office instead of running for president, his assurance that people at town halls tell him to stay notwithstanding. Quinnipiac has also regularly asked people in the state if they think Christie should run. One would think that the more people approve of the job he is doing as governor, they less likely they would be to want him to run for president, and vice versa.
The opposite is the case.
The less people think Christie is doing a good job, the less they think he should run for president. That is not the profile of a person whose state wants him to stick around. It is the profile of a state that thinks their governor is not a good leader.
Like everyone else paddling around in the "I'm thinking about running for president" kiddie pool, Christie has almost certainly already made up his mind. His decision to run for president when/if/when it comes might make a few town hall attendees sad. But it looks right now like most of the state will have a much less charitable reaction.