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Mr. Christie’s re-election showed that these bedrock issues do not appeal just to the GOP’s right wing, but to many swing Democrats, too. He won the support of 32 percent of Democrats on Tuesday, up from 24 percent in 2009.

His political appeal is much wider than even that. Exit polls on Tuesday showed him winning 57 percent of female voters, up from 12 percent last time. He also won 21 percent of black voters, up from 12 percent, and an astonishing 51 percent of Hispanic voters, up from 19 points.

Despite what the Washington news media want you to think, Mr. Christie is not at war with his national party, nor with its social conservative base. He made it clear throughout his campaign that he supports the right to life and was opposed to same-sex marriage. He ran flat-out on cutting taxes further to boost economic growth and create jobs, and cutting government spending, to boot.

No wonder Democratic leaders fear him and even now are plotting a major political assault on his governorship in anticipation of a bid for the White House in 2016.

These off-year elections tend to be overanalyzed, and sometimes their significance can be exaggerated. In this case, the parties split the difference in the governor races, but New Jersey far outweighs what happened in Virginia.

Mr. Christie, a shrewd and cunning operator, showed that government can work when you roll up your sleeves and are willing to step into the arena and fight for what you want.

Unfortunately, Mr. Cuccinelli learned a little too late that if he had made his campaign a referendum on Obamacare earlier, he probably would have won.

Donald Lambro is a syndicated columnist and contributor to The Washington Times.