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THE MUSINGS OF A TRADITIONAL SOUTHERN DEMOCRAT

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Sid in his law office where he sits when meeting with clients. Observant eyes will notice the statuette of one of Sid's favorite Democrats.

Friday, November 01, 2013

As New Jersey's Christie Campaigns, a 2016 Strategy Emerges - Governor sees outreach to nontraditional GOP voters as national model for party


From The Wall Street Journal:

As he crisscrosses New Jersey in a final campaign push, Republican Gov. Chris Christie has made clear to donors, top supporters and the national GOP that he wants to do more than just notch a big re-election win next Tuesday.

He sees his campaign—and particularly his aggressive outreach to nontraditional GOP voters—as a national model for his party.

Racking up big margins among women and even winning outright among Hispanics, as polls suggest he may, would position him well in a 2016 Republican presidential field as the party continues to struggle elsewhere to widen its appeal.

"Christie should have a strong case starting next week that his appeal among all types of Americans establishes him as an instant Republican front-runner for 2016, should he decide to run," said Fred Malek, a longtime GOP adviser with deep ties to national donors.

Mr. Christie's apparent crossover appeal isn't guaranteed to work in other parts of the country, where his efforts to reach out to core Democratic groups may not play as well with more conservative GOP voters.

In what promises to be a heated 2016 primary contest, Mr. Christie would likely face sustained fire from more-conservative potential rivals such as Texas Sen. Ted Cruz or Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, at a time when many in the party are debating whether it should play more to the center or hew to its activist base. His record in New Jersey could come under fire, as the state has been slow to recover from the recession, and he couldn't deliver on an income-tax cut promise last year. Some Republicans—citing examples such as Hillary Clinton, who failed to win the Democratic nomination in 2008—question whether electability itself is necessarily a winning pitch.

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