Niagara Gazette

Columns

February 21, 2013

GLYNN: N.J. voters favor Clinton over Christie in '16 race

Niagara Gazette — While the next presidential election is more than three years off, the pollsters seem to be working 24-7 to grind out results of their latest opinion surveys.

Quinnipiac, known for its accuracy in political forecasting, released findings Wednesday showing that New Jersey voters favored their Republican Gov. Christopher Christie over Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo, 54 to 36 percent. Undoubtedly Christie’s claim to the Garden State’s native son banner is a major factor in the poll.

Both governors have garnered more respect for their joint efforts in response to Super Storm Sandy. Christie has never taken himself out of the running in 2016 while Cuomo has insisted that he wants only to focus now on his job as the state chief executive,

What’s surprising about the Quinnipiac findings at this point, the New Jersey voters gave Hillary Clinton a 49 percent approval rating over Christie’s 45 percent.

In recent weeks, as you probably read, some respondents to pollsters said they were concerned that the extremely overweight Christie could prove a health risk in the Oval Office. They should know that William Howard Taft weighed more than 350 pounds and he apparently managed quite well with his daily duties. There were some changes, however, required in the White House (e.g. a larger bathtub installed).

•••

OUT OF THE PAST:  When the cardinals convene at the Vatican on March 15 to name a successor to Pope Benedict XVI it will mark the first time in 600 years that the election is being held while the predecessor is still alive. 

Selecting a pontiff hasn’t always been an easy task, as Eamon Duffy, a professor of history at the University of Cambridge, notes in his recent Wall Street Journal article. In fact, for some 1,000 years, the clergy and people of Rome chose the pope.

Duffy writes that election by “acclamation” wasn’t uncommon. He cites the example of a likely candidate seized by the crowd during the previous pope’s funeral and rushed off to church to be consecrated. At least no one in those days could complain about the lack of transparency in the decision-making process.

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