If New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is setting his sights on the White House in 2016 by making the case that he will be the most electable Republican in a clown-car primary, the results of the New Jersey gubernatorial race Tuesday will certainly help make the case that he is capable of garnering the support of both red and blue voters.
Some of Christie’s landslide success could be attributed to the fact that his challenger, Democratic State Senator Barbara Buono, was a longshot candidate at best. The incumbent dominated his opponent in polls and money throughout the campaign. Christie has also gone out of his way to reach out to independent and Democratic voters as well as Republicans in New Jersey.
While the newly re-elected New Jersey Governor has not made any mention of a possible 2016 Presidential bid, pundits throughout the Nation have speculated that his strategy in the race for governor is an obvious precursor to a Presidential bid.
What Christie has said is that he set out with a goal of being the first Republican to win 50 or more percent of the statewide electorate since George H.W. Bush achieved that success in 1988.
“This race has been to at least get to 50 percent plus one, then anything above that gravy,” Christie said Tuesday on CNN. “That’s a historical achievement. In 25 years, no one’s done that in New Jersey. So, I’ll be happy with that.”
If Christie’s Tuesday success is an indicator that he will seek Presidential ambitions in 2016, however, the New Jersey Governor will need to rethink his leadership strategy if he hopes to re-win the hearts of conservatives nationally. The Governor has repeatedly been called out as a RINO and quasi-Democrat for his efforts to reach out to the large number of liberal voters in his State by taking positions out of line with conservatives in the rest of the country.