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Governor’s Races: One Contest and One No Contest

A preview of the Virginia and New Jersey governor's races.

by
Rich Baehr

Bio

November 4, 2013 - 8:27 am
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New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie is cruising towards a decisive victory in his campaign for re-election. The only question is whether his margin is so large that it automatically places him in the top tier of GOP presidential candidates in 2016, given that New Jersey is a reliably blue state won by President Obama in 2012 by 17%.

Christie, who was first elected in a race against scandal-tainted Democratic Governor John Corzine by about 4% in 2009, has been riding a wave of support since his handling of “Superstorm Sandy” in the week before the 2012 presidential election. Some polls suggest Christie could win by 25-30 points, with the closest poll showing him ahead by 19% over Democratic state Senator Barbara Buono.

Christie’s margin of victory will almost certainly exceed that of former Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who won a special election to fill the U.S. Senate seat of Frank Lautenberg, the Democratic senator who died in June. Booker won by 10% over Republican Steve Lonegan in the election held on October 16. Christie selected the date for the special election for Lautenberg’s seat, choosing one that was three weeks before the regular November election date for the governor’s race.

Some speculated that his motive was avoiding having both races decided on the November election day, so as to limit the minority turnout (mainly African Americans) in Christie’s race, as this could cut into his own margin of victory. Christie said he picked the earlier date for the special election since he wanted the Senate vacancy filled sooner rather than later. Polls have shown Christie doing significantly better than most Republicans among African American voters. The governor has campaigned in African American areas, and has maintained good relations with Booker, the state’s most prominent African American politician. Buono will almost certainly win the African American vote decisively, but not by the Barack Obama-sized margins of his presidential races (95% to 4% in 2008, 93% to 6% in 2012).

It is no secret that Christie is interested in running for president in 2016. Excerpts from a new book on the 2012 campaign reveal that Christie was considered for the 2012 vice presidential nomination by GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and that he was one of the five finalists for the spot eventually offered to Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan. The book claims that Christie was passed over in part due to Romney’s concerns about his health, mainly associated with Christie’s weight,  as well as issues relating to his career prior to becoming governor.

Christie delivered the keynote address at the 2012 GOP convention, and his talk made almost no reference to Romney, the Republican standard-bearer about to be nominated. When President Obama visited New Jersey after “Superstorm Sandy,” he was warmly greeted by Christie, and the two seemed to be a team. Given that their meet-up took place just days before the presidential election, the bipartisanship exhibited by both men to address storm victims and damage seemed to give Obama a lift in the national polls heading towards the finish line. It also seemed to give Christie a political boost in New Jersey, where Obama is popular. Obama’s eventual national margin of victory (4%) doubled in the last week of the race.

It is, of course, very early to be assessing a candidate’s chances to be nominated and to win in 2016. Hillary Clinton is virtually certain to be the Democratic nominee, since it is most unlikely that she will skip the race to stay home baking, waiting for grandchildren, collecting royalties from her next ghostwritten collection of memoirs, and making the occasional speech for Goldman Sachs and others for several hundred thousand dollars a pop. Clinton is an extraordinarily focused politician, and has had her eye on the White House since her husband first ran for the office, if not before.

Christie has run well in early head-to-head polling against Clinton, suggesting a broader support level in certain areas of the country and among certain groups than other Republicans who are considered likely candidates for the nomination in 2016. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has also shown some crossover appeal due to his libertarian streak. Peggy Noonan has argued that Christie’s ability to win decisively in a blue state is due in large part to his everyman appeal. He is neither the Wall Street candidate nor the candidate of the  Tea Party, but rather someone who seems to enjoy being out with voters and is seen as a problem-solver, with some of the retail political skills of Bill Clinton.

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Top Rated Comments   
Christie will win in New Jersey, because there is no measurable objective difference in his actions from those of a Leftist Democrat. In his own words:

>>>‘I’m not much different from Andrew Cuomo. I probably agree with him on 98% of the issues.’<<<

http://hotair.com/archives/2013/02/19/chris-christie-i-agree-with-andrew-cuomo-on-probably-98-of-the-issues/

Cuccinelli will lose because of lack of support from the Institutional Republicans who consider his conservatism to be more dangerous than a victory of Hillary's surrogate. That and the population of voting parasites centered around Capitol City overwhelms the state to the point that it is impossible for a Republican statewide candidate to get beyond the Democrat margin-of-fraud.

And the RNC will consider that combination a win for their purposes.

Subotai Bahadur
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Many Republicans? Which ones . . . the ones that put up McCain against Obama & muzzled Palin in 08? The ones that let Al Franken steal a Senate seat in Minnesota? The ones that let George W. Bush expand the Dept of Education & push for amnesty for illegals? Those Republicans?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
One Republican will cruise to victory and the other race is tight. Bet the farm that no matter the outcome(s), the media will spin this as 'conservatism is dead', the 'Tea Party is finished', 'extreme right takes a beating' or some other such nonsense.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (23)
All Comments   (23)
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1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
A story is just breaking this morning (http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2013/11/libertarian_con_in_virginia_governors_race_revealed.html) --when it can't be widely enough distributed to effect the election--alleging that it was a major Democratic contributor and wealthy Obama bundler who was the major donor to the Libertarian Booster PAC, which paid for the people who collected the signatures that got the Libertarian candidate on the ballot i.e. the Libertarian's candidacy is a Democratic "dirty trick," designed to "split" the conservative vote and to siphon off enough votes from Cucinelli so that McAuliffe can win.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
If McAuliffe had not been handed the three-week vacation from the rollout of Obama-Care by the stupid shutdown, Cuccinelli would have already taken the lead. But in order to support a couple of grandstanders with only their own ambitions at heart, we effectively shortened the campaign by those weeks when the shutdown sucked all the media oxygen.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"If McAuliffe had not been handed the three-week vacation from the rollout of Obama-Care by the stupid shutdown"

The shutdown--which should have been followed by the end of the CR--is the only reason I can think of bother to vote this November, in 2014, or 2016.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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