Big day for Chris Christie, with a New York magazine profile hitting shelves and Quinnipiac University identifying him as the "hottest" politician in American. If history is any guide, that combination means that he will finish tied for last among Republican presidential candidates in 2016. Because once upon a time, Rudy Giuliani had his own New York profile and led in the same poll.
Quinnipiac University has been regularly conducting a "thermometer" poll, which, unlike a regular poll, asks voters to give a number between 0 and 100 to represent how they feel about a candidate. The researchers then calculates the mean "temperature" for the candidate and ranks them. The most recent ranking names Christie the "hottest" politician in America:
In 2006, Quinnipiac's poll looked like this, previewing the 2008 race.
With the exception of Giuliani, pretty much on the money. But you can't really just call the front-runner an exception.
The potential problem for Christie is that leading in this poll is hardly the only way in which he compares to 2008's most spectacular flame-out.
Both Christie and Giuliani are tough-talking former prosecutors. When that 2006 Quinnipiac poll came out, Christie was still working with the Department of Justice, acting as U.S. Attorney for New Jersey. Giuliani made his bones the same way, representing Southern New York in that position during the Reagan Administration. Both men ran on that background when first seeking higher office. And, of course, both take advantage of the tough-guy perception that follows from it.