What Christie’s victory means for the next presidential race


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(CNN) – Chris Christie’s re-election speech Tuesday night sounded like something more, as the Republican governor of New Jersey with national aspirations touted his bipartisan successes and railed at the partisan gridlock in the nation’s capital.

“It wasn’t an acceptance speech, that was an announcement speech,” said CNN contributor Alex Castellanos, a Republican strategist and veteran of numerous GOP campaigns.

While much of his address was directed at his New Jersey audience, Christie also had a message for the nation.

“I know tonight, a dispirited America, angry with their dysfuctional government in Washington, looks to New Jersey to say,’Is what I think happening really happening? Are people really coming together. Are we really working, African-Americans and Hispanics, suburbanites and city dwellers, farmers and teachers. Are we really all working together.’ Let me give the answer to everyone who is watching tonight: Under this government our first job is to get the job done and as long as I’m governor that job will always, always be finished,” said Christie, who’s seriously considering a bid for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination.

Christie’s victory was never in doubt.  And as the polls in the Garden State closed Tuesday night, CNN and other news networks quickly projected that the high-profile governor would win a second term in Trenton.

But the big questions heading into Election Day 2013 were how large a victory Christie would capture over Barbara Buono, his little-known Democratic challenger, and how Christie would perform with voters who tend to cast ballots for Democrats.

With 89% of precincts reporting, Christie was winning 60% of the vote, with Buono at 38%.

And according to CNN exit polls, Christie performed well with groups that normally cast ballots for Democrats.

Exit polls indicate the GOP governor grabbing 57% of the female vote and winning all age groups except 18 to 29, which he narrowly lost. Christie also won the Latino vote and took just over a fifth of the African-American vote, a much better performance than most Republicans in recent elections.

As expected, Christie carried 93% of Republicans, according to the exit polls. But he also won two-thirds of independents and just over three in 10 Democrats in a state where Democrats and independents made up nearly three-quarters of Tuesday’s electorate.

Christie is seriously considering a run for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. The exit polls appear to bolster Christie’s case that he’s among the most electable of the potential GOP White House hopefuls heading into 2016.

The conventional wisdom was that team Christie was hoping for an impressive victory in blue-state New Jersey. Christie talked about the margin of victory earlier Tuesday.

The above is excerpted directly from an article appearing originally at CNN.com. Click here to read the full story.

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