In the wake of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's commanding re-election victory Tuesday, which drew support from more than 60 percent of voters for the Republican candidate in a traditionally blue state, Democrats dismissed the outcome as a one-time phenomenon for Republicans.
“Chris Christie went to great pains to not run as a Republican," said Democratic National Committee spokesperson Mo Elleithee on a conference call with reporters Wednesday. “He won yesterday on the force of his personality. I don’t think that is transferable to the party and other candidates, nor is it sustainable.”
Indeed, Christie's performance was unique for any politician seeking office in a state that favors the opposite political party. He dominated not only among Republicans and the voters who typically support the GOP, but also drew in roughly a third of Democrats, according to exit polls. Christie also bested his opponent, Democrat Barbara Buono, among Latino voters.
African American voters favored Buono, but Christie won support across all socioeconomic and education levels.
Christie and his campaign team touted their win as a model for Republicans seeking to sell a conservative message to broad swaths of voters in states that aren't deep-red Republican.
“The governor's convincing win ... sounds a note for our entire country — who you elect and how they govern matters," said Christie's campaign Chairman Bill Palatucci.
But on Wednesday, national Democrats shrugged off that lofty assessment, hinting at their party's attack line as Christie weighs whether to run for president in 2016: That he is a governor of endless style but limited substance.
"Chris Christie is a late-night talk show host," said Democratic Governors Association spokesperson Colm O'Comartun. "He is an entertainer."
That Christie won by such a large margin, O'Comartun said, "is an anomaly."