"Chris Christie is going to be the flavor of the month/year after his big reelection victory and will be tough to dismantle for a while."
"With his big win this week, Christie showed the Republicans how they can win. Whether they will learn from this is another question."
"Will the desire to win trump the desire to punch America in the face? Only the GOP primary voters know."
"The media loves Chris Christie, which is a good predictor that GOP primary voters will hate him."
"The GOP simply can't resist its right wing."
"Surprise pick of Paul Ryan because it really helps to have national-campaign vetting and experience."
"Jeb Bush will see 2016 as the open race he needs to make a run."
Who are the top five contenders for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016?
REPUBLICANS (89 VOTES)
Rank, Candidate, Index Score*
1. Chris Christie, 82
2. Marco Rubio, 44
3. Rand Paul, 40
4. Scott Walker, 35
5. Paul Ryan, 32
6. Ted Cruz, 18
7. John Kasich, 13
8. Bobby Jindal, 9
9. Mike Pence, 8
10. Rick Santorum, 4
*Methodology: In tallying the rankings, a first-place vote was worth 5 points, a second-place vote was worth 4 points, and so on. The Insiders index reflects the percentage of points that each contender received out of the maximum possible. For example, Republican participants gave Gov. Chris Christie an index rating of 82, meaning he received 82 percent of the possible 445 points, the number he would have if all 89 Republican participants in the poll this week had ranked him first. Insiders were asked to rank the 10 candidates listed.
"Christie has purity-wing detractors but enough crossover appeal to start in leading position."
"Christie showed that Republicans can win over Democrats, minorities, and women. Now he should take on Obamacare to help cement his Republican credentials."
"Nobody from D.C. need apply! Christie starts as a heavy favorite (no pun intended), but that is a dangerous spot for the long run."
"If Cruz gets traction on right, moderates may have to coalesce quickly behind somebody, probably Christie."
"The tortoise will win this prize."
"Washington may hate Cruz, but that will make much of the party love him all the more."
"Jeb is the front-runner if he gets in. Conservative governing record, able to attract new faces to a party that's way too white, and the best fundraising network in the party."
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