Chris Christie, for all his flaws, is a more moderate (sane?) voice within the GOP ranks, and I know that he was expected to make a run for president in 2016. He made another speech today urging Republicans to try to broaden their message.
Obviously, he’s got his own issues now, so let’s just assume for the sake of conversation that he has some trouble putting the bridge scandal behind him and does not end up running for president. (I’m not really interested in talking about Christie himself, but what he represents, so if you have to put an imaginary moderate GOP into this conversation, do that instead.)
Does knocking out a moderating voice like Christie impact a presidential race, for good or ill?
I can see three scenarios:
It does nothing. The candidates are reacting to the voters not each other, and no moderate was going to win anyway.
Not having to react to a moderate message means other candidates can go full on crazy pants.
Not having to distinguish themselves from a moderate message means other candidates can moderate their own message.
Which seems like the most likely outcome, given today’s political climate?