Despite being a YouTube sensation and garnering an increasing amount of attention from national media outlets, New Jersey governor Chris Christie remains unknown to large swaths of the public and the Republican electorate, according to a new Fox News poll. The poll shows that 37 percent of registered voters--and 33 percent of Republican voters--have "never heard of" Christie. Another 12 percent of all voters don't know if he'd be a good president.
And yet, when pollsters give Republican voters the option to choose him as their presidential candidate, Christie grabs about 9% of the vote, according to RealClearPolitics. Considering that Christie has consistently insisted that he's not running for president because he's not ready to be president--and one-third of Republicans don't know who he is--pulling down 9% of the GOP vote is rather impressive.
These two data points--Christie's popularity among Republicans who know him and his relatively low name-ID among Republicans in general--suggest that Christie could easily vault to first place if he were to jump into the race.
The RealClearPolitics average of polls shows that frontrunners Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney are only about 10 points ahead of Christie. According to the Fox News Poll, 4 percent of Republicans have never heard of Huckabee, and 7 percent of Republicans have never heard of Romney.
The Fox poll shows Huckabee and Romney trail Obama by 8 points and 7 points, respectively, while Sarah Palin, Jeb Bush, and Newt Gingrich each trail Obama by about 20 points.