That’s how many votes New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie received in winning re-election last month.
Christie took 60.3 percent of the vote in the Nov. 5 election compared with 38.2 percent for Democratic state Sen. Barbara Buono, according to an official tally the state elections board released yesterday.
Christie’s showing was the best by a candidate for New Jersey governor since Democrat Jim Florio won 61.2 percent of the vote in 1989. Christie’s performance was the strongest by a Republican since 1985, when Gov. Tom Kean was re-elected with 69.6 percent of the vote.
Christie’s victory was more impressive than Kean’s by at least one metric. Christie ran 19.7 percentage points ahead of Republican Mitt Romney’s 40.6 percent showing in New Jersey in last year’s presidential election. Kean in 1985 ran 9.5 points ahead of Ronald Reagan’s 1984 New Jersey percentage, at a time when the state was voting more Republican than the nation at-large in presidential elections.
In the previous 16 governors’ elections dating to 1949, when New Jersey began electing chief executives to four-year terms in the year after a presidential election, no Republican nominee for governor had run more than 13.6 points ahead of the party’s immediate past presidential nominee’s showing in New Jersey.
Christie’s landslide notwithstanding, New Jersey is now a Democratic bastion. The state last voted Republican for president in 1988 and for senator in 1972.
The 51-year-old governor won 19 of 21 counties led by Ocean County, where he took 76 percent in an area that includes Toms River and other territory on the Jersey Shore. Buono won only in Essex County, which includes Newark, and in Hudson County, which takes in Jersey City and Hoboken close to New York City.
Backers of a potential Christie presidential campaign in 2016 are promoting his vote-getting prowess in New Jersey. Christie said last month he’d decide on a 2016 campaign “when I have to.”
In the meantime, he’ll boost his national fundraising contacts and political profile this year as chairman of the Republican Governors Association, as Bloomberg’s John McCormick reported last month.
GQ declared Christie “Boss of the Year” for 2013, Bloomberg’s Terrence Dopp noted.
There were 2,120,866 total votes cast in last month’s election, down 12.5 percent from 2,423,792 votes in 2009, when Christie unseated Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine.