(CNN) - Chris Christie said no Tuesday to a run for the White House, but if he had launched a presidential bid, two new national polls tell different stories on where the New Jersey governor would rank in the battle for the GOP nomination.
"Now is not my time. I have a commitment to New Jersey that I simply will not abandon," Christie said at a news conference in Trenton, New Jersey that aired nationally on all major cable news networks.
But what if he had run?
A Quinnipiac University survey conducted Sept. 27 through Oct. 3, before Christie's announcement, indicates the Garden State governor would be tied with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney atop the field of Republican presidential candidates, with each grabbing the support of 17% of likely GOP primary voters. According to the poll, former Godfather's Pizza CEO and radio talk show host Herman Cain is at 12%, with Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the former front-runner in the national polls, at 10%. All the other candidates questioned in the survey are in single digits.
The poll also indicates that in a hypothetical 2012 general election matchup, Christie would hold a three point margin over President Barack Obama, 45% to 42%, which is within the survey's sampling error. According to the poll, Christie had an eight-point advantage over the president among independent voters, 45% to 37%.
"This survey shows Gov. Christie is walking away from the possibility – at least today – to be elected president of the United States. Whether he would have won the GOP nomination or the election will never be known, but the data indicate he had a serious chance to win it all," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, in a statement.
Another new survey suggests a different scenario. An ABC News/Washington Post poll conducted Thursday through Sunday shows Christie at 10%, trailing Romney (21%), Cain (14%) and Perry (14%).
According to the survey, which was also conducted before Christie's announcement, 42% of Republicans and independents who lean towards the GOP said they would like to see Christie run for the nomination, with 34% saying no, and nearly one in four unsure.
The ABC News/Washington Post poll questioned 1,001 national adults by telephone, with a sampling error of plus or minus six percentage points for questions only of Republicans and independents who lean toward the GOP.
The Quinnipiac University poll questioned 2,118 registered voters, including 927 likely Republican primary voters, with a sampling error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points for GOP questions.