Chris Christie was last night re-elected as New Jersey governor with a 60-39 per cent win over Democrat Barbara Buono. The result is significant as New Jersey is a Democrat state (it voted for Obama over Romney by a margin of 18 points) but the Republican candidate won the day comfortably.
Early data shows that Christie drew substantial support from moderate and independent voters, something which the Republican Party have struggled to do on the national stage.
The accepted wisdom amongst most commentators seems to be that whilst Christie is a social conservative and economic liberal (i.e. a typical Republican) he didn’t let cultural issues didn’t come into play; there were no dog whistle politics and race didn’t come into it even tacitly.
The ad I’ve included above shows former NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal endorsing Christie; not many Republicans can claim black, West Coast, sporting celebrities amongst their advocate base.
Christie’s record is also notable for the fact that he worked with Democrats such as president Obama on bipartisan issues; this is unlike the stubbornness and bloodymindedness that has been said to characterise much of the current Republican Party leadership.
Chris Christie is now seen as a front-running candidate for the Republican nomination for the White House race in 2016. Christie didn’t shy away from that fact during his acceptance speech stating:
“I know that if we can do this in Trenton, New Jersey, maybe the folks in Washington should tune into their TV sets, and see how’s done”