Can Christie Expand The Map?

I think he’s easily the most formidable GOP candidate for 2016 – on paper. Reviewing the GOP’s presidential hopefuls, a “plugged-in Republican consultant” ranks Christie #1:

Christie is in the 1 slot now and forevermore — he’s about to get huge margins in his historic reelection in a blue state –he’s the successful model for our Party (from a political perspective) and his governing success is exactly what our country needs from a fiscal perspective. He can compete in about 40 of 50 states. Who else can do that AND run as a conservative? No one.

Bouie notes that Christie is winning an impressive share of the black vote:

This isn’t a small thing; a nominee who can return the GOP to its historic performance with African American voters and other minorities, is a Christie who has done substantial damage to Democratic chances. Without the near unanimous support of blacks, Democrats have a much harder time in newly purple states like Virginia and North Carolina, as well as large swing states like Ohio and Florida.

Freedlander points out that Christie is also doing well with Latino voters. But:

Christie’s strong showing in New Jersey among Hispanics may not be enough to convince Republican bigwigs that he can do the same thing nationwide. For one thing, the Hispanic population in New Jersey, while large and diverse, is not representative of the population in the rest of the country. Only Florida boosts more Cuban-American voters, a constituency that has traditionally voted Republican (One of New Jersey’s U.S. Senators, Robert Menendez, is Cuban-American.) In 2009, Christie eked out a slight win against incumbent governor Jon Corzine and still garnered 32 percent of the Hispanic vote. For him to show broad appeal to Latinos nationwide he may have to do better than the 40 percent he is currently polling among Latinos against weak Democratic opposition.

Barro’s bottom line:

Christie’s pitch to national Republicans is that he can hold that coalition together and rocket way past 47% of the vote. The only question is whether Republicans care enough about winning to take him up on it.