The actual numbers from Quinnipiac:
Chris Christie (R) 37
Ouch. The most electable Republican is stuck in the 30s, and even that looks good compared to the disastrous numbers sported by Sen. Marco Rubio (losing to Hillary 50-34) and Rep. Paul Ryan (losing 50-38). If Fox wants to get excited about that, then by all means, go for it!
The big story here is that Republicans better pray Clinton resists the lure of history and the easiest path to the White House since ... Eisenhower? No, even easier than that. If she decides to solidify her position as one of the great women of American history, Republicans might as well start planning for 2024.
But if she doesn't run, it'll pain conservatives to know that Christie is their best shot for victory: He leads Biden 43-40 and crushes the hapless Cuomo 45-28. Don't get me wrong—if we get our voters to turn out, it's hard to see how Christie can win. The demographics don't lie, and neither does a swing state composition that favors Democrats. But at least Christie is plausibly competitive in a way that Rubio and Ryan are not (and I can't think of anyone else on their side better positioned than Christie).
So what you see up there, on that screenshot? It's Fox News paving the way for Christie's resurgence. He won't be at CPAC this year, he's not wanted. But he doesn't want CPAC either. He needs to get reelected this November in Blue Jersey.
But 2014 will be a new year, and don't be surprised if he's there, full of mea culpas, after a year of Fox News fluffing. Base conservatives will swear up and down that they won't make the same mistake as in 2008 and 2012, nominating someone they hated, someone who wasn't a "true conservative." But in the end, their primaries are always won by the establishment choice. And you better believe the establishment will cling to Christie in 2016 as their true savior.
Just in case Hillary decides to stay retired.