Earlier this year, former New York governor George Pataki visited New Hampshire, like he does every four years. He knows that you noticed; he has told several crowds, “I make a joke that every four years, there’s the Olympics, there’s the World Cup, and I come to New Hampshire thinking about running for president.”
This year, however, he decided to stop thinking and just announce a campaign, even though so much time has passed since his last election that few people know who he is. Perhaps buoyed by boredom or by knowing that the Republican primary is already so packed that no one would mind an extra Pataki, the 12-year governor figured he’d try anyway.
And, as Pataki notes in the video announcing his bid, he has been an unlikely winner before in a blue state.
In the years that Pataki, who is more moderate on social issues than many other presidential contenders, has been away, the Republican Party has changed a bit — which has forced him to rely heavily on New Hampshire as the only path to victory. However, he has wobbled between 2 percent to not registering in the polls at all — and sometimes isn’t even offered as a choice. He didn’t leave New York on especially good terms, either. In the last full year of his tenure, his approval rating kept hitting new record lows.
In other words, Pataki doesn’t have much of a chance of winning. However, that crucial factor doesn’t seem to have influenced many presidential candidates this year.