According to many recent newspaper articles, the dream Republican ticket for 2016 is Chris Christie and Susana Martinez, Both of those candidates come from blue states. Both of candidates come from law enforcement backgrounds and are moderate in policy. They however are tough as nails in tone. Susanna Martinez comes from the Southwest and Chris Christie comes the Northeast. One of the states is very urban and the other rural. Both areas recently have become more difficult for Republicans to compete in.
Looking first at Susana Martinez, she is a former prosecutor in New Mexico and daughter of a security business owner.She has a good record of success. She won a DA race in a county that is predominantly Democrat and her tireless fight for justice has lead to some rule changes. One example is the expansion of Katie’s Law. In fact, Katie’s Law is named after Katie Sepich, a 22-year old college student whose killer Martinez prosecuted and convicted. As District Attorney, Martinez fought hard to pass the legislation, which required a DNA sample to be taken from anyone arrested for a violent felony in New Mexico. After taking office as governor, she made it a top priority to expand Katie’s Law to require a DNA sample for all felony arrests. The expansion passed through the legislature with large bi-partisan support and was signed into law by Governor Martinez in April 2011.
After being a successful District Attorney , She ran for governor of New Mexico and won. 54% to 46%. She has since maintained a very high approval rating among her citizens. She has a 70% approval rating among all people in New Mexico, which includes support from 44% of Democrats and 64% of independents. This proves that she is doing well with the Latino because a significant portion off the population in that state.
She also a very good storyteller as evidenced by her speech at the 2012 Republican Convention. In that speech she described how she came to realize that she was a Republican. She also connected on two key issues areas of guns and small businesses. Both of those issues strongly with rock solid conservatives but do not scare away moderate voters.
Overall she helps complement Christie in a lot of ways. She backs up the law enforcement appeal. Being a woman and Latino bring those voters to the forefront. She also is willing to work across the aisle for conservative solutions. Thus she is in many ways the female version of Christie.
Now let us to turn to Chris Christie, the current Governor of New Jersey. He comes from Morris, New Jersey and is a former United States Attorney. He started his assent, when he defeated Jon Corizine in 2009 Governor’s race. Chris Christie has the fighter personality that people of political stripes recognize and admire.
He has also made the time to work across the aisle politically. A newspaper in South Jersey recently gave credit to the Democratic State senate majority leader, Steve Sweeney and Governor Chris Christie for their good working relationship, when they said, “…Republican Gov. Chris Christie and Democratic state Senate President Stephen Sweeney managed to work together, New Jersey now has a better public-employee pension system, a more efficient cap on property tax increases and a more dynamic higher-education system.
This willingness to work across the aisle has allowed Chris Christie to achieve sky high approval ratings much like Susana Martinez has. According to a recent poll prior to his reelection effort, his approval rating was at 74%. Two particular data points in the poll were quite striking. The first being that “Democrats approve of the Republican governor 56 – 38 percent and say 48 – 43 percent he deserves reelection”. The second one being that, “an early look at the 2016 presidential election, New Jersey voters go 49 percent for Hillary Clinton and 45 percent for Christie. Clinton leads 60 – 34 percent among women while Christie leads 58 – 35 percent among men. He leads 90 – 7 percent among Republicans and gets 48 percent of independent voters to Clinton’s 44 percent. Democrats go to Clinton 86 – 8 percent.”
As a result of working across the aisle politically and governing Christie was able to win a huge reelection victory over Barbra Bunno. He won 60% to 38% and achieved some notable inroads with voters not typically associated with the GOP. He won Latinos and women, and also broke ground with the youth vote and the black vote.
Both Susana Martinez and Chris Christie prove that bipartisanship and working with other party leads to good political results. They represent a law enforcement background and made a strong connection to all types of people. Christie and Martinez are truly people who grasp what it means to serve the public. Lastly, they are a group that could appeal to voters that do not typically vote GOP and that is the most important thing to consider for the GOP wining in 2016.