Christie cruises to victory ahead of 2016

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Ben LaBolt, who served in both of Mr. Obama’s successful presidential campaigns, suggested the decision could come back to haunt Democrats, saying via Twitter this week that “time will tell if not spending any money to define Christie now was a mistake.”

Preliminary exit polls showed that Mr. Christie did well with constituencies with deep ties to Democrats, winning 56 percent of women, 45 percent of Hispanics and 21 percent of blacks — three groups that Republicans have struggled to woo in the past two presidential cycles.

“In this race Gov. Christie earned significant support among minority voters,” Mr. Priebus said. “That’s a testament to the success of his results-oriented leadership and an inclusive campaign. During this race, the RNC worked alongside the Christie campaign to engage early and often with Hispanic, African-American and Asian voters.”
Political observers and Republican insiders said the margin of victory would send a message that Republicans can broaden their appeal and bolster the brand without tacking to the tea party.

“It also shows that a more moderate candidate who focuses on keeping taxes, spending and regulation low but also working with Democrats to govern is very popular with voters of both parties,” said Steven Duprey, a Republican National Committee member from New Hampshire. “Voters want problem solvers not ideologues — they respect a conservative and don’t need a candidate to surrender their principles but they don’t want candidates/governors wasting time on divisive issues.”

Mr. Christie closed out the final week of the campaign with a 46-stop bus tour, which doubled as a preview of the message that he is likely to turn to in a presidential campaign — and featured guest appearances from former New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez.

Before the polls closed, Mr. Christie said on CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper” that the “party has to focus on winning again.”

“Sometimes I think our party cares more about winning the argument then about winning elections,” Mr. Christie said. “If you don’t win elections you can’t govern, and if you can’t govern, you can’t change the direction of a state like we have in New Jersey.”

“I’ve governed as a conservative in this state, and I think that’s led to some people disagreeing with me in our state, because it’s generally a left-of-center, blue state,” Mr. Christie said.

It is unclear how Mr. Christie will perform with grass-roots conservatives and tea partyers in the early primary states, and how his blunt style will play outside of New Jersey. But some political pundits say Mr. Christie comes out of the election as an early favorite in the presidential sweepstakes.

“As we sit here and eat our Cheerios tomorrow morning, he is going to be the front-runner for the Republican nomination,” said Mike McKenna, a Republican consultant. “He is going to have unlimited cash. He’s got the best name recognition of everybody and his campaign operation is not great, but it is no worse than anybody else’s, and I suspect he will get some of the best campaign operations because he has the most cash out of the gate.”

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