UPDATE: Politico is hearing that Christie will announce, again, that he’s not running.
First Read looks at the GOP lineup if Christie doesn’t run (via Political Wire):
“We see essentially three scenarios. The first is that much of the GOP establishment — after watching Perry struggle over the past few weeks — begins to coalesce around Romney (just see David Brooks this morning). That doesn’t mean Romney’s a sure bet to stroll through the primaries, but he becomes the obvious man to beat…. A second scenario: The conservative vote coalesces around Perry (or another anti-Romney conservative), which becomes dangerous for Romney. Just look at the new Washington Post/ABC poll, which shows the combined Perry-Cain-Bachmann percentage (39%) beating the combined Romney-Gingrich percentage (32%). (Gingrich seems to be an ‘establishment’ placeholder in many of these polls, despite the TYPE of campaign he’s running, so that’s why we include him with Romney.) A third scenario if Christie doesn’t run? Perhaps someone else tries to get into the race. But with most likely some 90 days until Iowa, that person’s chances of impacting the GOP contest become less and less as each day goes by.”