Chris Christie Re-Elected Governor of New Jersey By Wide Margin

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Chris Christie was re-elected as New Jersey governor in a landslide Tuesday, posting a 60-39 percent victory over his challenger, state Sen. Barbara Buono.

For months, the popular Republican held a sizable lead in the polls as Buono failed to get her campaign off the ground. He never gave an inch.

Chris Christie was re-elected with widespread support from men, women, independents, members of his own party, and even three in 10 Democrats.

"I'm the luckiest guy in the world," Christie said, flanked by his wife Mary Pat and their four children, during his acceptance speech in Asbury Park, N.J.

The Democratic challenger, Buono, won the votes of liberals, African-Americans, and young voters, but that was not nearly enough to stop Christie.

In 2009, Christie defeated incumbent Democratic Governor Jon Corzine by just three points, but his margin of victory was far more substantial this time.

His support improved among nearly every demographic group.

Christie solidified his base winning near unanimous support from Republicans (93 percent) conservatives (86 percent), and tea party supporters (88 percent).

More significantly, he made inroads with Democratic groups. Christie won the support of both independents and moderates by commanding margins.

Most New Jersey Democrats (66 percent) did support their party's candidate, but 32 percent of the state's Democrats crossed over and backed Christie.

A mere 8 percent of Democrats voted for Christie in 2009.

In what is traditionally a blue state, the 51-year-old Christie faced an electorate in which nearly two-thirds had an overall favorable opinion of him.

The real question coming out of Tuesday's election is what his margin of victory means for a potential 2016 election bid for an even higher office.

This is a state that President Obama won easily twice, but Christie's pragmatic approach to conservatism has proven popular in the Garden State.

In a hypothetical 2016 match-up with Democrat Hillary Clinton, 44 percent say they would vote for Christie, while 48 percent would back Clinton.

Christie was discussed as a candidate for president in 2012, but did not run. He was discussed as a V.P. choice for Mitt Romney, but was not picked.

If he does decide to run for president in 2016, he will likely do so as the Republican candidate least beloved by the conservative wing of the party.

However, his success in New Jersey shows his ability to connect with Democrats and independents, a challenge many GOP favorites have failed to meet.

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