Chris Christie won big. Really really big (no pun intended). He launched his presidential campaign so everyone said every where in pundit land. He would pose a huge problem for the Democrats in 2016 (never mind that we still have no idea who the Democrats will nominate or for that matter the Republicans). Why a problem for the Democrats you ask? Because Christie did really well among women (a group that Republicans are having a hard time with). He did really well among Hispanics. He did really well among blacks. (You have to view this in the spectrum of most Republicans doing unbelievably bad with these last two groups.) He even attracted Democrats. Thus Democrats should be quaking in their collective boots come 2016. Perhaps just a small reality check might be in order here.
I will agree to all of the above. But let’s add just a teeny tiny bit of perspective. He can attract women voters and they would vote in a Republican primary. He can attract Hispanics but I don’t see them voting in droves in Republican primaries. (Something about the way Republicans talk about immigration turns Hispanics off. Who knew?) I can’t see all that many blacks voting in Republican primaries. Democrats can’t see them voting in Republican primaries at all because in most states they can’t vote in them.
So in a general election Mr. Christie does indeed seem extremely formidable. But he has to get the nomination first. He has to get past the Tea Party and Mr. Cruz and Mr. Paul. In other words, he has a long way to go. The Tea Party is already going after Christie. They are going after main stream Republicans with a vengeance. Promising to primary the “moderates” of the party if they don’t cow tow to the Tea Party line.
The punditry all say that the Tea Party is loosing its place in the Republican Party. That main stream Republicans are taking them on (this is based on one primary election in Alabama). What a bunch of BS. If anything the Tea Party is doubling down. What happened in Virginia is a perfect example.
Rather than take away that they lost in Virginia because of the extreme positions of the candidates running there and that a moderate (again take them term with a grain of salt because we’re comparing Christie to the Tea Party) won in New Jersey, the Tea Party says it needs to fight harder. According to the Tea Party, they lost in Virginia not because Cuccinelli was a bad candidate but because main stream Republicans refused to support him with money. Further that these main stream Republicans wanted Cuccinelli to loose. And then this looney tune idea was put forward, the American people spoke against Obama Care in the Virginia election. Showing that Republicans should do everything and anything to make sure Obama Care is repealed. This is after all what the results in Virginia show. Well, if that was the case, shouldn’t the Republicans have won in Virginia instead of the Democrats. But then again logic has never been the Tea Party’s strong suit.
What last Tuesday does show is that moderates of either party have a good chance of winning general elections. But the ideologues of either party who run for office have problems expanding beyond their base. That’s the lesson the Republicans should take from last Tuesday. The problem is per usual the Tea Party refuses to recognize what happened.