New polling shows that should New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie enter the race for the Republican presidential nomination, he’d tie for second place with Sarah Palin. Both would trail Mitt Romney by 20 percentage points.

The PublicMind poll released by Fairleigh Dickinson University Saturday shows that Christie, who has repeatedly said he won’t run in 2012, despite pleas from party leaders and conservative pundits, would only be the first choice of about nine percent of Republican voters. Twenty-nine percent chose Romney.

Dan Cassino, an FDU pollster and professor said the numbers shouldn’t be seen as the be-all and end-all. The base hasn’t solidified behind any one candidate, he said, and “so long as [Christie’s] polling well…they’ll keep on trying to pull him in.”

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