Most voters aren’t thinking this far ahead but if Chris Christie wins reelection as New Jersey Governor, he’ll never have to worry about winning a statewide election in New Jersey again. A lot of pundits will expect Christie to carry his home state if he runs for President in 2016, but you heard it here first – he won’t.
A Republican Presidential candidate hasn’t won NJ since 1988. New Jersey’s moderate swing voters may prefer Christie’s politics to the type of old-school labor Democratic political style on offer at state level but that won’t be the choice before them in 2016.
The choice in 2016 would be between Hillary Clinton and a crazyassed version of Chris Christie who’s adopted the national Republican Party platform verbatim – just like “moderate” Mitt Romney did, just like “moderate” John McCain did.
To get the Republican Presidential nomination, both of those politicians had to adopt all the national party’s views on the issues, and by the time they were in the running for the general election, they had long since renounced all the positions that had earned them reputations as heterodox interesting figures within the party.
The same thing will certainly happen with Chris Christie, and here is the key reason Tuesday will be the last statewide election he wins in New Jersey: the transformation into orthodox Republican Presidential candidate will begin this Wednesday, November 6.
As soon as Christie gets reelected, his eye is going to be on winning federal election, proving his neo-Confederate bona fides to the tea people, and making up for all those photo ops with President Obama with a triply right-wing state-level agenda.
The screaming authoritarian style will still be there (because the chance to see an angry conservative man scream in Hillary Clinton’s face will be like tea porn for Republican primary voters in 2016) but Christie’s actual issue positions are about to get even nuttier, and NJ Democrats who split their tickets to reelect him are quickly going to regret it.