There are a lot of reasons Christie won, and I would be hard pressed to name all of them. So, I will try and and highlight a few things ( some completely unoriginal, others that people know but don’t like to say aloud ).
First of all, congratulations to Chris Christie and his campaign. They played their cards ( which included far less money ) correctly. In hindsight, despite all the hand wringing from people within his own party, not getting specific on property taxes was probably the right call. The election would have become a referendum on the Christie plan rather than on the unpopular incumbent.
Mike Duhaime, Bill Stepien and Maria Comella all deserve a lot of credit for keeping Christie out there and letting his Jersey roots come through. A strategically placed article in the NY Times about Christie’s Springsteen fandom certainly didn’t hurt, for example. And we should give brother Todd some credit too. He was out there in ways seen and unseen ( he knows what I mean ) helping his bro, and I think that helped make a difference.
Of course there were the vote totals that have been sliced and diced every which way. Huge turnout in base areas along the shore. And not enough Democratic turnout in areas like Middlesex. Interesting that Christie took a walk down a Woodbridge street with mayor McCormac two days after the election isn’t it?
It’s also interesting That the day after the election, Christie was at Steve Adubato’s school in Newark”s North Ward. Some thought long ago that Adubato made a deal with Christie. Vote totals weren’t great in Essex, but they were just good enough, and Adubato is just savvy enough to make it look like no one sat on their hands.
It was reminder at Wednesday’s Newark presser just how tightly knit that greater Newark community is. I’m talking about Christie, Adubato, Joe D and Cory Booker. They have all known and worked together for quite some time and I think you are going to hear more from all of them going forward in a Christie Administration.
As Joe Cryan told me yesterday about getting out the vote in cities, ‘you can knock on all the doors you want, but you can’t necessarily make ’em vote.’
But the million dollar question is what comes next? My own thought is that Christie will govern from the center. Everyone wrote him off long before he took the reigns at the USA office. Then they were pleasantly surprised by his success. I think you might very well see him surprise critics as Governor when he picks and chooses the right battles.