Poll: On National Security, Will the GOP Side With Chris Christie or Rand Paul?

Whose approach to national security is likely to win the internal debate in the GOP?


Chris Christie's: 68%
Rand Paul's: 32%

Chris Christie's

"Ted Cruz is at war with Tom Coburn on Obamacare. Christie and Paul are going at each other like they're only a month out from the 2014 Iowa caucuses. As a Democrat, I love it."

"Paul's strategy would lose the GOP more votes in the long term."

"This isn't like abortion—the elites control the security debate, and the elites are not isolationists."

"In GOP-land, Big Military always trumps civil liberties."

"As a Democrat, it is going to be great theater and fun to watch the meltdown."

"Rand Paul's views represent an intense group of activists who are more ideological than partisan. Christie's views represent the core Republican brand."

"Rand Paul's America First credo will be no more successful than it was when Pat Buchanan pursued it. It is not premised on reality, and that is a fatal flaw."

Rand Paul's

"The GOP is currently incapable of saying no to the tea party."

"The trend line is libertarian."

"Neo-isolationists have replaced the neocons, especially when it comes to [the National Security Agency]."

"Republican primary voters do not like pragmatism."

"Passion beats rational analysis."

"Chris Christie isn't the GOP. He's an outlier. He needs to come to grips with that."

"The so-called grown-ups seem to be losing to the pseudo-libertarians, along with the GOP's many other exotic factions these days."


Whose approach to national security is likely to win the internal debate in the GOP?


Chris Christie's: 81%
Rand Paul's: 19%

Chris Christie's

"The Republican Party is first and foremost the national security party. Sounding like a Democrat, as Paul does, is a great way to undermine our credibility."

"Paul is right, but the Defense Industrial Fear Complex will invest and win."

"The isolationist wing of the GOP died with Pearl Harbor. Rand Paul aligning himself with the discredited thoughts of Pat Buchanan is not the path to success. It's the path to irrelevance."

"That's where the money is."

"Rand Paul is a slightly less crazy version of his father, which includes his positions on foreign policy."

"In the pre-Snowden-leak days, this would have been a no-brainer, but the NSA's dramatic overreach troubles even mainstream Republicans."

"The world is a dangerous place. When the next attack comes, and it will, do you really think we'll be having this argument?"

"Unfortunately, my party is populated with defense-spending hawks who are more interested in Fortress America than civil liberties."

"As a former DOJ official, Chris Christie is being pragmatic, while Rand Paul is pandering to the black-helicopter and right-wing nuts in the GOP."

Rand Paul's

"Unless there is another terrorist attack against the U.S., rising mistrust of government will trump old-school national security concerns among GOP primary voters in 2016."

"Invoking the widows of 9/11 has run its course, especially when there's no evidence mass data collection on me and my neighbors has stopped a plot of any relevance."

"Which means the GOP will give up national security as an advantage for the first time since Ike."

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