2013 Elections and Beyond

On Tuesday night, Chris Christie won a second term as New Jersey Governor by about 20 points over his Democratic challenger, just as most pundits predicted.  Many attribute this blow-out victory to the fact that he is perceived as a moderate Republican who can get things done.  The fact of the matter is that Christie has vetoed an increase in the minimum wage (which the people of New Jersey overruled by referendum, with over 60% of the vote), he is anti-choice, anti-equality, anti-teacher, and comes across as a thin-skinned blow-hard.

To give credit where credit is due, Christie stepped up to bat when Superstorm Sandy hit the east coast in 2012.  He joined forces with President Obama, putting politics aside (at least on the surface) in order to help a state that was devastated by one of the worst storms in recent history.  Nobody on either side of the aisle has forgotten the pictures of Christie putting his arm around President Obama.  Coincidentally, this took place around the time when the Democratic party basically pulled out of the New Jersey Governors race.  Perhaps there was a gentlemen’s agreement between the President and Christie: “You stay out of my race and I’ll stay out of yours.” 

These circumstances allowed Christie to win a big victory, but does it really help for 2016?  Because the Democrats ran a weak campaign against him, Christie was not vetted properly.  A new book tells the story of how Mitt Romney didn’t pick Christie as a running mate because “Christie’s past is littered with landmines.”  Did it make more sense for the Dems to stay out of this race so that they can vet him in front of the nation when he runs for president?  Even a strong Democrat with support from the national party most likely would have come up short against Christie.  Not because Jersey is trending red (the opposite is actually true), but because the people of New Jersey genuinely seem to believe that Christie deserved a second term.

Or did they?

Crooksandliars.com ran an article stating the following:

“With 99 percent of the voting precincts counted, 2,073,642 voters cast ballots for governor, according to the Associated Press. That's a shade less than 38 percent of the state's registered voters.

The voter totals will go up because they don't include provisional ballots yet to be counted, as well as those who may have voted for other offices but not governor. The record low for a governor's race is 47 percent, set four years ago.

The special U.S. Senate election held three weeks ago set the record for lowest turnout of any Jersey state level-contest: 24.5 percent.”


So, Christie won with over 60% of the vote, but that still doesn’t represent the majority of New Jersey voters.  2013 is a way-off-year-election.  It isn’t a presidential year, it isn’t even a mid-term year.  These types of oddly-timed election cycles tend to favor Republicans.  But this year, Christie was the only bright spot for the GOP, considering that they suffered a historic loss in Virginia where Terry McAuliffe ousted Ken Cuccinelli by a squeaker.  This race was expected to be a blowout for the Clinton-Democrat Terry McAuliffe, but due to a voter purge by the GOP, he barely squeaked out a 2.5 point victory.  The LT, Gov race was not nearly as close.  Democrat Ralph Northam defeated tea party darling E.W. Jackson by about 11 points. In a third match-up for Attorney General,  both candidates won 49.89%, with the Democrat Mark Herring edging out Mark Obenshain by just 32 votes with 95% reporting.  This race is headed for a recount, where the Democrats have a shot at a clean-sweep in Virginia.

But was Christie really a bright spot?  Yes, he won big, but he is perceived as a moderate who belittles Washington and is willing to work across the aisle.  Bi-partisanship is everything the GOP stands against.  What does it say about the 2014 (and 2016) chances for the right wing extremists that still make up 95% of the GOP?  

Christie stood alone in a crowd on Tuesday.  Sure, he had supporters, but deep down he knows that his base is not there and a national election will expose him for his true principles.  The true lefties will not support him.  The Tea Party doesn’t trust him due to the pictures of him hugging Barack Obama.  He is currently losing to Hillary Clinton by anywhere from 4-8 points in his own state, and we now know that Romney didn’t pick him because “his past is littered with landmines.”  When those things come out, along with his hard right-wing agenda, his approval will drop.  His right-wing agenda will cancel out his “moderate appeal” to centrists and moderate Democrats, however, the Tea Party voters hate Obama more than they love to hate homosexuals.  As a result, the right-wing base is most likely gone forever from Chris Christie’s side.  They say elections are won in the middle, but that only works when you bring one side or the other along as well. 

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