(CNN) – Chris Christie's re-election as New Jersey governor was never in doubt.
But the big questions heading into Tuesday's gubernatorial election were how large a victory the high-profile Republican with national aspirations would capture against state Sen. Barbara Buono, his little-known Democratic challenger, and how Christie would perform with voters who tend to cast ballots for Democrats.
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According to CNN exit polls of New Jersey voters, Christie was winning by high double-digits, just shy of a 20-percentage point margin over Buono.
Christie performed well with groups that normally cast ballots for Democrats. Early exit polls indicate the GOP governor grabbing 56% of the female vote, and winning all age groups other than those 18 to 29. Christie also took a fifth of the African-American vote and 51% of Latinos, a much better performance than most Republicans in recent elections.
As expected, Christie carried 94% of Republicans, according to the exit polls, but he also won nearly two-thirds of independents and three in 10 Democrats in a state where Democrats and independents made up more nearly three-quarters of Tuesday's electorate.
Christie is seriously considering a run for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. The exit polls appear to bolster Christie's case that he's among the most electable of the potential GOP White House hopefuls heading into 2016.
Chris Christie is what the tea party would call a RINO. He won't get the nomination.
If he finds a gap I hope it's big. He's gonna need the space.
How any woman can vote for any republican is beyond comprehension. how bad do they have to treat us before we stop taking it? i guess it's the same as battered women staying with their abusers. women, the Democratic party is the good man you do deserve. stop going back to the beer-guzzling slob in the wife-beater who punches you in the mouth because he feels like it!
Because of choice to have a separate election for the Senate seat, this changed the numbers for Christie's win. It makes him look better for the nomination.
This is what I call it a leader victory who has proved that he is for all people Governor...
He has flip flopped from pro choice to no choice to pro choice. Against gay marriage to now for because he is a repug deep down inside. You have to dig deep but it's there.