Some people who think they know say that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is conducting polling to see how he might do IF he decides to enter the presidential race this year.
But some say that the Christie people themselves are denying this. They say that sources inside Camp Christie tell them no preliminary polling is underway.
Hey, look: Politicians conduct polls all the time. They say they don't care about polls but at the same time they keep commissioning polls and focus groups. Any politician with a war chest (and Christie has one) conducts polls and commissions focus groups.
So, let's say Christie's people are doing polls and focus groups gauging how his policies are going over, mostly in New Jersey. Notice, I said mostly. They can always expand the net and they can always throw in questions about the national scene and find out how Christie might rate as a presidential candidate. Any good polling outfit can do that. It's not complicated. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to do this.
And polling outfits can work very confidentially -- very much under the radar.
The people being asked the questions will never know who the client is. They'll never know who commissioned the poll.
I repeat: Christie is an astute politician. Right now, his instincts may tell him "no" but, armed with the closest thing he can get to cold, hard facts, it's a good bet he'll keep his options open -- just a bit, just a crack, just as long as he can (or as long as events allow him).
Frankly, in the current environment if this really is his strategy, who can blame him?