Chris Christie is widely seen as a leading GOP contender for 2012 but some analysts see a hefty obstacle in the way: Chris Christie. America hasn't had an obese president since William Howard Taft a century ago and bias against the overweight could count against the New Jersey governor." Image does matter," a pollster tells Reuters. "That is something that is in the voters' subconscious whether they want to admit it or not."
A recent Zogby poll, however, placed Christie first in a field of hypothetical GOP presidential candidates—ahead of Sarah Palin—and found him to be the only Republican contender who would beat the relatively svelte President Obama. Research has found that bias against the overweight has increased in recent years, despite the rise in obesity, although one study found that the public tends to prefer chubbier politicians—but only if they're men.
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