Republican Gov. Chris Christie is enjoying a commanding lead in his New Jersey reelection campaign at the moment and many, including the Wall Street Journal, are wondering if his current campaign might not serve as a model for a potential presidential bid in 2016.
Racking up big margins among women and even winning outright among Hispanics, as polls suggest he may, would position him well in a 2016 Republican presidential field as the party continues to struggle elsewhere to widen its appeal.
“Christie should have a strong case starting next week that his appeal among all types of Americans establishes him as an instant Republican front-runner for 2016, should he decide to run,” said Fred Malek, a longtime GOP adviser with deep ties to national donors.
Mr. Christie’s apparent crossover appeal isn’t guaranteed to work in other parts of the country, where his efforts to reach out to core Democratic groups may not play as well with more conservative GOP voters.
The lineup of contenders could change between now and 2016, and Mr. Christie hasn’t formally declared himself a candidate. But the governor has long tried to build support among minority voters and other constituencies—not for his future national ambitions, aides said, but to deliver a resounding victory against his Democratic opponent, state Sen. Barbara Buono.
“This is a model for the party in general,” said Bill Palatucci, Mr. Christie’s campaign chairman and a national GOP committeeman. “His message is that you can’t come to any community and ask for them to vote for you a month before the election.”