New Jersey Could Be a Tough State for Chris Christie to Win

The breakup has been a long time coming. For two years, he has spent more and more time away, openly flirting with others in what looked a lot like a trial separation. At home, he got an increasingly chilly reception.

Gov. Chris Christie’s entry into the presidential race moves his strained relationship with New Jersey voters into something looking a lot like a divorce. And it would probably be uncontested. CONT.

Kate Zernike & Nick Corasaniti, New York Times

Can retail politics turn Chris Christie’s poll numbers around?

Chris Christie enters the presidential race with a slightly different challenge than his Republican opponents: while many of those candidates are still introducing themselves to voters, he needs to make them reconsider him. Lately Christie has consistently had the largest number of Republicans nationwide saying they wouldn’t consider voting for him. CONT.

Anthony Salvanto, CBS News

Fare Thee Well

The Grateful Dead’s “Fare Thee Well” tour ends a 50 year run for the band with three final shows this weekend at Chicago’s Soldier Field. And oh what a long, strange trip it has been.

Our recent poll conducted in June with the Mellman Group measuring the band’s image among all Americans demonstrates that the impact of the Grateful Dead has been broader and affected a more eclectic group than one might imagine. CONT.

Lori Weigel, Public Opinion Strategies

Chris Christie’s Path to Relevance

Chris Christie is highly unlikely to win the nomination. The reasons, like his moderate-conservative views and the ethics scandal over bridge traffic in New Jersey, have been summarized elsewhere.But many candidates with little or no chance to win the nomination nonetheless play a big role in presidential primaries, and Mr. Christie could be one of them. CONT.

Nate Cohn, New York Times

The GOP May Regret Its Lasting Battle Against Gay Marriage

Same-sex marriage is supported by most Americans. And after last week’s landmark Supreme Court decision, it’s also the law of the land. But how it will play out in the presidential campaign is far from settled. …

Polling generally suggests that same-sex marriage is not a top issue for most voters. … But digging deeper provides a different perspective. Beyond the importance voters place upon it directly, gay marriage may have symbolic power because of the messages it sends to voters about the parties. CONT.

Harry Enten, FiveThirtyEight

A Momentous Week, and a GOP That Needs to Change

The momentous events of the last week can be interpreted in numerous ways. But one thing has become increasingly clear: The Republican Party needs to change. …

Simply put, Republicans are loaded up in a car, racing toward a generational cliff with their eyes focused on the rearview mirror, with many (but notably not all) oblivious to the societal changes taking place all around them and the growing wedge building between their comfort zone and presidential swing voters. CONT.

Charlie Cook

What makes this Supreme Court different from other Supreme Courts?

Here’s what last week’s U.S. Supreme Court decisions signify: Old America has conceded to the New America.

The New America is the coalition that came to power with President Barack Obama in 2008 and gave him the winning majority. It’s a coalition of groups marginalized for most of U.S. history: racial and religious minorities, immigrants, young people, gays, single mothers, working women and unchurched Americans who claim no religious affiliation.

What holds the coalition together is a commitment to diversity and inclusion. Precisely the values the Supreme Court affirmed with its Obamacare decision on Thursday and its gay-marriage ruling on Friday. CONT.

Bill Schneider (George Mason U.), Reuters

Public Backs a Nuclear Deal With Iran by 2-1 Margin

By a 2-to-1 margin, more Americans support the United States and other world powers pursuing a nuclear deal with Iran than oppose it, according to new results from the most recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. CONT.

Jessica Washington, NBC News

‘Decline in Moral Values’ Likely to be Big Topic in 2016 Debate

Last week’s Supreme Court decision all but ended the debate about the legality of gay marriage in America. Yet there is ample reason to think it has arrived at the beginning of another trend: a rise in the importance some voters attach to cultural issues in the 2016 presidential campaign.

As has been widely noted, the decision capped off a stunningly quick and broad shift in public acceptance of gay marriage.

But that acceptance is hardly universal. More broadly, and perhaps more important politically, the ruling by a deeply and bitterly divided court comes amid evidence that some Americans already were viewing with growing concern what they see as a broad slide in moral standards. CONT.

Gerald F. Seib, Wall Street Journal

Trust Differs Most by Ideology for Church, Police, Presidency

In the U.S., liberals and conservatives report markedly different levels of confidence in nearly every key institution Gallup measures, reflecting the general polarization that typifies the country today. The confidence gap — the difference between groups in levels of confidence for a particular institution — is largest for the presidency (by 36 percentage points), followed by the church (27 points) and police (26 points). CONT.

Andrew Dugan, Gallup