Arnold Schwarzenegger won re-election handily in 2006, defeating his hapless opponent Phil Angelides by a 56% to 38.9% margin. Yet this sizable win was a meaningless victory for the GOP. Similarly, Chris Christie’s thumping victory on Tuesday night over an equally forgettable candidate contains almost no national meaning, save that Chris Christie is good for Chris Christie. Like Schwarzenegger, Christie cruised to re-election not as a real Republican but as a preening non-partisan moderate. Like Schwarzenegger, Christie’s popularity hasn’t translated into any support for Republicans in his own legislature.
Which raises the question: How could Christie turn blue states red nationwide if he can’t turn his own legislature red?