Some conservative pundits have said that conservatives would rather lose with ideological purity than win with a pragmatic candidate. Some were not happy with Romney in 2012, but I wonder who in the underwhelming republican primary field could have gotten more votes than Romney. Santorum? He was the runner up. Do you think America would vote for a sunday school scold? Or Gingrich or Perry? Didn't the republicans make the ride choice with Romney?
You have to accept the fact that conservative ideology is not that popular. Most voters are much closer to the political center. Christie has something no other republican has. Lots of charisma. And money follows charisma and if Christie wants to run he will be the republican nominee.