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Chris Christie re-elected as governor of New Jersey by wide margin

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
November 6th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie re-election by a wide margin is seen as a substantial victory for the largely disconnected Republican party. Christie proved popular among younger voters and African Americans, something the Republican party has thus far found hard to attract. Adding to the significance of the win is the fact that New Jersey is largely a Democratic state - putting Christie at the forefront of possible Republican presidential candidates.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Many analysts see Christie's success due to his favoring pragmatism over ideology. In a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans by over 700,000, Christie not only won over younger voters and blacks, but women and Hispanics as well.

The victory came even as Christie held positions contrary to those of many New Jersey voters on several key issues, such as same-sex marriage, abortion rights and the minimum wage.

Described by many as a straight-talking, even swaggering, leader who could reach across the aisle to solve problems, Christie declared "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."

Christie addressed a packed crowd at Convention Hall in Asbury Park, where Bruce Springsteen holds holiday concerts. The red and blue lighting gave the gathering a presidential campaign-like glow.

"We don't just show up in the places where we're comfortable, we show up in the places we're uncomfortable," Christie said, hectoring Republicans about how to appeal to groups beyond their base. "You don't just show up six months before an election."

Around the country, Republicans voice their support. "We'll be led back by our governors, and Chris Christie is now at the forefront of that resurgence," Ed Gillespie, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee said.

"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."

The increased national attention around Mr. Christie had grown in the run-up to Election Day, as network cameras filmed his every move. His campaign bus had been swarmed by people seeking autographs on photos of the governor at the White House, on the cover of Time magazine, and even with his wife, Mary Pat, on their wedding day. Some clearly hoped to offer the souvenirs later for sale.

Christie's presence is only set to grow later this month as he assumes leadership of the Republican Governors Association, which gives him sway over which state candidates the party will support, allowing him to rack up favors with other Republicans and create relationships with local leaders in key presidential states.

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