Will Dropping Gay Marriage Appeal Hurt Christie in 2016? [POLL/AUDIO]
Yesterday, Governor Chris Christie withdrew his appeal in the gay marriage lawsuit.
That made a lot of people happy, but it clearly did not thrill the right wing of the Republican Party that Christie might need if he decides to run for president in 2016. One political expert feels Christie knows exactly what he's doing.
"Does he hurt himself with hard-line Republicans? Absolutely," says Fairleigh Dickinson University political science professor Peter Woolley. "Could he placate them? Absolutely not……I think Christie understands that there is a large portion of right wing Republicans who are not going to vote for him regardless."
Ultra right wingers already suspect that Christie isn't a strong enough conservative, but Christie does just enough to pass their litmus test, according to Woolley. He thinks Christie isn't going to make himself unacceptable to the hardliners, but he's not going to make himself be loved by them either.
"There's going to be a number of (GOP) candidates vying for that hard-line vote in a 2016 primary, which could divide the vote in Christie's favor," explains Woolley. "The fact is, Christie does best with fiscal conservatism and outside fiscal conservatism he tends to walk a very fine line on social issues and anything else that comes up that's a hot-button conservative issue."
By walking that fine line on the gay marriage issue Woolley feels Christie can answer the questions and move away from the issue very quickly.
"His answers work well with many voters," says Woolley. "He's given this some thought and to come up with this answer that this should be part of a popular referendum is really very clever because who's going to argue with democracy?"