Christie Reelection Solidifies Governor's Role as GOP's Moderate Leader

Some GOP leaders hope governor's win is a roadmap for navigating anti-Tea Party sentiment in 2016.
10:12 | 11/06/13

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Transcript for Christie Reelection Solidifies Governor's Role as GOP's Moderate Leader
This is a special room. Hello everyone I'm -- Hernandez in New York with his ABC news digital special report big election victories last night I think -- The forecast even further and the name on the tip of everyone's time today Chris Christie -- New Jersey governor took the garden state by a big margin. In his victory speech last night governor Chris Christie challenged Washington saying lawmakers should look to New Jersey as a functioning government. This in Trenton, New Jersey. Maybe the folks in Washington. -- I -- resume tomorrow tonight. New Jersey okay. I'm pleased you tonight. -- I don't know -- with the spirit of -- And not seek a second term. To reduce all things I saw a second term to finish the job now watch can be. I had a very determined Chris Christie let's bring in ABC news political director Rick climate talk about his. Victory and other election results from last night hello -- Hi there yet you eat I've never seen -- victory celebration that that double as a campaign -- quite like that hello -- again. A little bit more than New Jersey on his mind a four year term but -- something else that's gonna happen in the middle that term they may be thinking about our yes is got -- they know what. Now what next. He -- going to begin to take this message around the country and he's gonna do it directly under the auspices of the Republican Governors Association fortunately for him he's going to be new chairman of that group is gonna put him into contact with governors around the country. Fund raisers give him a head start. And mostly he's going to use a bigger medical megaphone than ever. To succeed to make the case that he is the -- all of the very various Republican -- right now. Someone asked if he is now the most prominent person Republican Party he is the head of the -- wing of the Republican Party. He is being mad at that at that the senator of this and there's going to be an entire debate that revolves around his candidacy. But he is in the drivers seat that doesn't mean with a nomination is that there's lots of his of that before then but it -- mean it there is no single Republican. What a better 2013 and Chris Christie capped it last night with a resounding victory. All right he didn't win by that large margin but skeptics point out he was an incumbent and there was a low turnout does that. -- to this that all. Yet he'll take those he'll take those critiques he does have a choice about meaning incumbent in terms to turn out -- was able to engineer things -- that he won. Across demographic groups he -- Latinos that's virtually unheard of he carried women. Even though he is it is not a supporter of abortion rights and he also had -- the female democratic opponent who had a lot of national. Attention from groups around that so he was able to win a soaring searing victory he won every county in the state went across income levels. Across demographic groups it was an impressive win any way you measure it they'll take anyone saying -- done on the people voted New Jersey new Jersey's democratic whatever. Whatever reason you wanna give for the reason that he won he is able to say he won any one day. We didn't see any big changes -- Chris Chris him and he was loud and proud last night and he is doing is but is their concern about how he might. -- Iowa for example. Yes and his team is already cognizant of that and they know that if he DEB decides to run for president he's gonna have to do it no way that challenges a lot of the conventional wisdom about the early states. Rudy Giuliani try to do in 2008. Bigger star than Chris Christie I would argue at the time -- he fell flat he never got it started they're saying they won't make those mistakes at the same time. He is more conservative than Rudy Giuliani in some ways on some social issues he may not be. As outspoken on those is on fiscal issues but he plans to burners those credentials he's now free the point Houston now run. Toward the right he has gotten the senator he's gotten exactly what he needed out of New Jersey which is to run up the score when a big victory that. Propels them onto the national stage. George W. Bush had a similar circumstance -- -- a big reelection in 1988. And -- turnaround rep for president in 2000 Chris Christie has a three year head start that the two year one. Let's move now to Virginia the other gubernatorial race a lot of people are watching victory for Democrat Terry -- -- What do we take away from that. A couple of things first of all it's a defeat for the Tea Party movement it can -- -- the Republican candidate was of the Tea -- strong social conservative. Terry McAuliffe. Not not anyone's idea of a perfectly suited candidate for any state he's a longtime party fund raiser in fixer and friend of the clintons. A lot of baggage -- on its business dealings around its fundraising exploits. But he wants and he will however by only a few points polls had shown that this would be a seven or eight point -- he ended up winning by less than three points. And indications that the unpopularity of the Obama health care law contributed to a a narrower gap could turn out among pushing -- supporters but the bottom line a win is a win. And is it going to be a democratic governor in the state of Virginia it's the first time that the party inside the White House he's getting the governor's mansion in Virginia since not back in 1970. Three does this signify a shift in -- Virginia vote -- it's still too soon to town. Virginia is definitely changing and now -- it is still the attorney general's race in that state that it's it's on resolved but the potential for. All the statewide offices and -- senate -- to be occupied by Democrats that's. Virtually unheard of in recent history of Virginia has the democratic tradition that ended in the 1960s and it started to go Republican now it is going back -- another direction. You look where Chris Christie. -- to -- -- Terry McAuliffe got his votes in in Northern Virginia for instance. That is a fast growing fast changing part of the state it is not your father's Virginia babies are grandfathered in it in terms of the democratic leanings. But things are changing there and it's -- be a battleground on the presidential level -- that President Obama won both times that he ran there is something that people have to take -- And Rick moving on the New York City we have a new mayor here Democrat which. Shouldn't come as a surprise -- the first one -- that's been elected in twenty years we're talking about bill to block the oval. Six months ago struggled for fourth place in the mayor's race and he won by a landslide. That's right he won it by. Being the most liberal of the candidates essentially talking -- income inequality talking about the need for social justice and this is after. Twelve years of Michael Bloomberg -- years of Rudy Giuliani before that and their own unique leadership styles this is that really that. This city which is a pretty liberal -- in re asserting that and moving back in that direction going with a lot -- the primary he won against better funded candidates it. Who had more name recognition coming into the race. And then he just swamped the general election the Republican candidate to load it really had no chance it was a blowout at historic proportions. For bill the -- CO. And the mayor of New York it becomes a national figure almost automatically so we're gonna hear a lot more about him in and out this experiment in New York City with a more liberal style of governance. We talk about Bloomberg fatigue here New York City someone who had an unprecedented third term in recent history. A lot of people like the job begin but we're tired of them and is this going to be a different called road for the blog -- to navigate. -- base interest thing because Bloomberg leaves with a degree of popularity that you could not read the -- -- winning the primaries other thing anything other than it it repudiation. Of the high -- Bloomberg years this was. As described as a new gilded age in new York and that's what -- the Los it was running again so. It's possible -- DE can tap into that and keep a coalition together but once this starts meaning higher taxes on upper income earners. I acre real estate market on the upper end this interest in to see how his bass response to that he's -- some clashes with state leadership about some of the things he wants to do on the fiscal front. He's coming in with an agenda that's really unlike anything we've seen in new York and a couple of decades. Let's get back to the big picture here in terms of all of these races -- a President Obama put out the calls last night to the winners. Including McAuliffe and the blog -- but apparently he didn't call Chris Christie here -- poster read into best. Yeah it's interesting he called he called only Democrats who won the races last night -- the White House says that that's in keeping with what he's done in previous elections Chris Christie got his congratulatory. Phone call four years ago the -- after the election. They have not said whether -- -- get a phone call today. I thought that was interest thing I had I had not heard of this precedent before -- on me if I didn't know about it going back generations or something but. The idea that there -- that any -- about last night and day traditionally. And Election Day is -- time to heal divisions to reach out across party lines is a lot of heady talk about bipartisanship and post partisanship. What it would take to make a phone call to the one other person that wanna -- race last night it would not have been significant is an investment of time so. I thought it was an oversight. It certainly glared out at me when I saw the White House statement describing the phone calls the president made last night. And Rickey talked about the victory Terry McAuliffe in Virginia possibly being a repudiation of the Tea Party do we get a sense of that in any of these other races. This one other one -- that really became Paramount and that was -- me in little -- house race down Alabama in the mobile area that was an open seat for congressional. District is heavily Republican the Republican primary which the runoff was yesterday. That is tantamount to the general election. And -- -- establishment candidate running and he's running some Tea Party challenger and it got to the point where the establishment was so concerned about this Tea Party that the chamber of commerce the US chamber of commerce that is. The National Rifle Association. Got involved in this little itty -- primary down in Alabama this one off of the primary and they ended up saving the -- for the establishment candidate and and -- in this a bunch of Republicans that I've been in contact with today -- feel like. This shows at least there's a way to right the ship that it's not. A day it's not a foregone conclusion of the Tea Party candidate is just gonna roll over the person that is more than mainstream choice of Republican. All right ABC news political director Rick Klein thank you so much for joining us always funded go after election night that -- you. Love it when voters vote -- -- okay. I even watching ABC news digital special report on -- Hernandez.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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