It was a bit annoying to see all of the political pundits last night on most national television coverage of Gov. Chris Christie's big win in my home state of New Jersey try to analyze why he won as some kind of comment on national GOP politics.
Yes, he won by a wide margin and is now a clear GOP presidential contender. But most who vote for him here liked his approach to the budget and his independent style, not necessarily agreeing with his views on a lot of social issues like abortion and gay marriage.
They also seemed to wonder why he could win so big, but have the state legislature remain solidly Democratic and two ballot measures on the minimum wage and games of chance, which he opposed, could pass pretty handily.
This ignores the fact that New Jersye is a very swing state with a very mixed vote and a lot of ticket-splitting. People here have elected three Republican governors to two-term tenures since 1981, but always had a Democratic legislature for the most part, while regularly voting Democratic in the presidential race since 1992.
If some of these pundits at the national channels had talked to some local state reporters, they might know this.
In addition, people in this state, and likely many others, vote for governors, mayors and often president because they like the candidate, not necessarily the party. To say Bill de Blasio's big win in New York City for mayor somehow is a comment on the previous 20 years of hard-line conservative mayors does not take into account that he had a very weak opponent, as did Christie.