|Governor Chris Christie|
Some Republicans are so excited over Christie's win they are hoping that he can turn his performance among minority voters and women into a run for President in 2016. To quote former Indiana University football coach, Lee Corso, "Not so fast my friends."
CNN reported last night that exit polls said that only 50 percent of Garden Staters believe that the Governor they just overwhelmingly sent back to Trenton would make a good President. In addition, 49 percent said they would vote for Hillary Clinton in a head-to-head race with Christie. The good Governor would only get 43 percent, and that's in a General Election race.
Before Christie gets to the General, he must survive the Primary, and, as most of you know, Republican races in the Primary Election season run far more conservative than Mr. Christie is politically. It would be a very hard for a man with some of the highest taxes in the country to become a small government conservative. Christie would have to move right to pick up some of the Republican base in order to win. Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Sarah Palin, and others all are over there on the right already. That makes Christie the strange moderate at the table. He's 2016's version of Jon Huntsman who was pushed aside like a bunch of single ladies trying to catch the bridal bouquet.
Let's face the facts. Christie beat an unpopular Democrat, Jon Corzine, in 2010, and he did it will less than 50 percent of the vote. Because of the job he's done in New Jersey, he proved to New Jersey voters that he deserved a second term yesterday.
Over the past year, we have learned a lot about Chris Christie. He's toned down his act, and he's been able to work across the aisle. The way he managed the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy showed the way he might manage a crisis when in office. These are all positive things that make him a very strong General Election candidate.
Back to that pesky Primary thing. Many voters on the right don't really see bipartisanship as a good thing. These are, after all, the same folks that gave us Cruz, Paul, Palin, and Richard Mourdock. Plus, New Jersey is not the rest of the country, and the voters of New Jersey are not the voters of the rest of the country. .
What Christie did in New Jersey won't matter so much in a Primary. It will be how far he can go to the right. When you're a moderate Republican, it's hard to turn right enough to stand the test of the GOP's far right.