New Jersey Governor Chris Christie won re-election by a debilitating margin on Tuesday with 60.5 percent of the votes in his favor. His victory is not surprising at all, considering how diligently he handled the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy last October. Though, there is one element of surprise. He has attracted individuals that most Republicans struggle to attract, which are younger voters, African-Americans, Hispanics, and women. He also managed to win the re-election despite his views on controversial topics, such as same-sex marriage, abortion rights, and minimum wage debates.
At Convention Hall in Asbury Park, Gov. Christie stated, “I know that if we can do this in Trenton, N.J., then maybe the folks in Washington, D.C., should tune in their TVs right now and see how it’s done.” He also lectured Republicans on how to appeal toward other groups, which are usually outside of their base, but which he has successfully done. “We don’t just show up in the places where we’re comfortable, we show up in the places where we’re uncomfortable. You don’t just show up six months before an election,” he said.
His victory has indeed proved significant, leading him to the forefront of Republican presidential contenders as well. Christie portrays how important it is to work with Democrats in order to maintain solidarity. According to Ed Gillespie, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, “He’s proved that a conservative Republican can get votes from Hispanics and African-Americans, that a pro-life governor can get votes from women. This means that those voters are available to us, that we’re not shut out demographically or geographically – that it’s worth the effort.” In fact, Christie represents a similar strategy of bipartisanship and outreach that another Republican governor contained and whom eventually became the President of the United States: George W. Bush.
The national attention gained by Governor Chris Christie has steadily been increasing in the days before his re-election, and will continue to increase as he is granted leadership of the Republican Governors Association. This leadership position will allow him to gain favors with other Republicans and to create relationships with local leaders in key presidential states. Stephen Duprey, the national committeeman, has invited Christie to New Hampshire, which has the country’s first presidential primary, to discuss policy and raise money for the party. Christie also stated how he plans to frequently appear in “places like Ohio, Michigan, and Florida,” which are all states with Republican governors up for re-election next year.
On Tuesday, network cameras filmed his every move and a CNN microphone was clipped to his tie, as he campaigned at the Peterpank Diner in South Amboy, N.J. People swarmed to the location in hopes of attaining autographs, taking photographs, and meeting the New Jersey Governor because his hard work has been greatly seen by the public. He has worked hard to cut taxes, reduce the size of the government, and improve the way the government functions. Christie touched the hearts of many individuals after Hurricane Sandy by being more than simply a Governor, and continues to do so. Yet, he plans on making more changes and insists on finishing his job.
“For the next four years, we will fight to make those changes permanent, and we will fight to make them bigger. I did not seek a second term to do small things. I sought a second term to finish the job. Now watch me do it,” Christie stated. He also discussed how superstorm Sandy changed everything and brought people from all walks of life to work together in solidarity. “The spirit of Sandy will stay with us well beyond the days that the recovery will take. I will govern with the spirit of Sandy,” he added.
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