Chris Christie won re-election as New Jersey governor yesterday—and from the sounds of it, some commentators think he all but sewed up the Republican nomination for 2016 at the same time.
- "The big victory sets up Mr. Christie well to mount a bid for president in 2016, though the governor has said he hasn't decided on his future plans," writes Heather Haddon at the Wall Street Journal, noting that he spent Election Day criticizing President Obama and talking about national issues—and told his election night party, "If we can do this in Trenton, NJ, maybe the folks in Washington, DC, should tune in their TVs right now and see how it's done."
- Christie's overwhelming win was "a victory that vaulted him to the front ranks of Republican presidential contenders and made him his party’s foremost proponent of pragmatism over ideology," according to Kate Zernike and Jonathan Martin at the New York Times, comparing his bipartisan outreach strategy to that of another GOP governor who made it to the White House: George W. Bush.
- "The real race is just beginning for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, as he prepares to weave a careful path to the 2016 presidential nomination," writes Alexandra Jaffe at the Hill. He can now point to success with the female and minority voters that the GOP has struggled to win over, she notes, although the moderate positions he adopted along the way won't impress Republican primary voters.
- Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post sounds another note of caution. The victory "was much more about the Chris Christie brand than the Republican brand," argues. "He spent very little time talking about his Republican credentials and much more time talking about his own accomplishments in the state." The governor and his team may claim the resounding victory shows a Republican can win blue states, but "did Christie really run as a 'Republican?'" he wonders.