DON GONYEA, HOST:
The email landed in my inbox at 7:01 Tuesday morning this week. The subject line read, "NBC News Poll: Christie Trails Clinton In Hypothetical 2016 Match-Up." My reaction when I got this breaking news with my first cup of coffee? A big, non-verbal, heavy sigh. The headline correctly states that this is a, quote, "hypothetical" match-up. Oh, and if you are fan of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, not to worry. A different poll came out this week as well. That one has him leading Hillary Clinton 43-42 - within the margin of error, of course.
But neither is a candidate yet. The first contest if - if - nothing changes, will be the Iowa caucuses; likely in January, not of next year or the year after, but the year after that. And the 2016 general election is more than 1,000 days away. As for the accuracy of polls taken at such a very early stage, just ask President Rudy Giuliani. In 2007, he still had high poll numbers due to his time as a take-charge mayor of New York on 9/11. Except he faded quickly once the GOP primaries got underway. Or you might ask President Colin Powell or President Mario Cuomo or President Gary Hart or President Edmund Muskie or - well, I could go on.
Now, don't get me wrong. I cover politics full time. I'm fascinated by politics. I love elections. I love talking to voters, examining strategies; and at some point such polls will be meaningful, and we will study them closely. But I am a very long way from walking into a diner or a community center in Iowa or New Hampshire or Ohio; and asking, who do you like for president - Christie or Clinton? Or Biden or Cruz - or Warren or Santorum or Paul or Ryan or Rubio or - well, you get the picture. I'm happy to take a breather for a while. I mean, there's no shortage of other issues to talk about, right?
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