GOP showing strengthens presidential chances of Christie — and potential rivals

Chris Christie

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie leaves the Capitol in Washington in this Nov. 17, 2014 file photo (J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s presidential aspirations should get a boost, political analysts say, since most of the gubernatorial candidates he campaigned for won Tuesday.

Raising $100 million for the Republican candidates gives Christie a lot of political capital, said Ben Dworkin, a Rider University political science professor.

“I think he will be able to look forward to collecting IOUs from all these people, telling them, in effect, ‘I was there for you, I’m running for president. I need you to be on my side.'” he said.

Montclair State political science professor Brigid Harrison agreed, but added that senators who are potential rivals for the 2016 GOP nomination will benefit from the Republicans taking control of the U.S. Senate.

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“People like Rand Paul have a very powerful platform from which to speak. People like Ted Cruz who will clearly be banging away at the Obama administration and also, of course, Obamacare,” she said.

Christie’s fight to get his party’s nomination would be an uphill battle, Dworkin said.

“He brings a significant number of assets, but other candidates do as well,” he said. “So right now, there’s a lot of positioning going. People are trying to secure the commitments of major party fund raisers and other political officials.”

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