In the wake of Governor Chris Christie’s (R-NJ) delusional answer to Fox News asking him why 65% of New Jersey voters think he would be a bad president, the editorial board at the Star-Ledger thinks they have finally figured it out.
“The man has lost touch with reality,” they opine.
This can be the only explanation for how Christie still thinks he can win the presidency “when New Jersey is in such rotten shape after his six years in office.” They came to this conclusion after listening to Christie’s answer on Fox.
Christie told Megyn Kelly that New Jersey voters think he would be a terrible president because they love him so much they want him to stay their governor. Christie knows this because some people have said it to him at his town halls.
But the editorial board is not buying this excuse, especially because, as they write, “First, the governor needs to hold more town hall meetings in Democratic districts, and at night when working people can attend. He preaches to elderly and overwhelmingly white audiences, over and over.”
Citing several other polls the Governor might take a glance at if it is reality that he seeks, the editorial board took a few guesses as to why they don’t love Christie in his state:
It could be the rotten job market. Or the high property taxes. Or the crumbling transit system. Or the broken promise on pensions. Or the private jets. Or the Bridgegate indictments. And so on.
Ouch. Lest anyone think this is the opinion of some far left outlet or an obscure paper, Wikipedia says “the Star-Ledger is the largest circulated newspaper in the U.S. state of New Jersey.” In fact, “The Star-Ledger ’s daily circulation is larger than the next two largest New Jersey newspapers combined and its Sunday circulation is larger than the next three papers combined.”*
This is also the same paper that endorsed him in 2013.
From that same Quinnipiac poll that Megan Kelly referenced on Fox, 56% disapprove of the job Governor Christie is doing, which is the lowest approval rating for any governor in the nine states they surveyed.
Firing a very loud warning shot, the Star-Ledger ended on this note, “God forbid he gets a chance to make an even bigger mess on a larger stage.”
Familiarity has bred contempt when it comes to Chris Christie. Yet he believes he’s going to the White House.
This stunning disconnect with reality, so strong that the largest paper in the state has called it out — though they hope he doesn’t actually believe the things he says, exemplifies the Republican Party’s Fox problem of epistemic closure. They are breeding an entire party of delusional people who have no concept how extreme they sound to the rest of the country, how their belief in Glenn Beckian conspiracies isolates them because they sound crazy and dangerous, and most of all, they have no idea what people are really saying about them or about the issues.
It is very tough to win elections outside of gerrymandered safe zones when your party is not even close to reality.
*Wikipedia cites data from the New Jersey Press Association.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.