Oct 30, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Chris Christie's blue-state campaign pitch

Chris Christie

Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie campaigned for moderate-minded Republicans this week in New York, Colorado and Oregon — blue states where GOP upsets would usher in a major red wave.

Why it matters: The stops are part of a concerted political strategy by Christie, a possible 2024 presidential candidate, to help build a broad GOP coalition that can appeal to independents and moderate Democrats.

  • Christie spent Tuesday morning campaigning for Republican Mike Lawler, the GOP nominee against the Democrats' House campaign chairman Sean Patrick Maloney. He also campaigned with Republican Marc Molinaro, a Dutchess County, New York, executive running in a swing Hudson Valley district.
  • Later in the week, he stopped in Oregon to campaign for Republican gubernatorial nominee Christine Drazan, who is trying to become the first GOP governor elected in the blue state since 1982. He is also helping out Lori Chavez-DeRemer, a Hispanic mayor in a favorable position to win a district that Biden comfortably carried in 2020.
  • On Saturday, Christie campaigned for Colorado Senate nominee Joe O'Dea, one of the only Senate Republican nominees who has said he won't support former President Trump in 2024.

The big picture: If Republicans win back power thanks to a sizable red wave, many of the party's majority-makers will be pragmatists from Biden-friendly districts. That would be good news for Trump-critical Republicans like Christie, who will be looking for 2024 allies that aren't tied to the MAGA movement.

What they're saying: "This year reminds me a lot of 2014, when people thought I was crazy [as Republican Governors Association chairman] to spend money in Maryland, Massachusetts and Illinois. We wound up winning all three of those governorships," Christie told Axios.

  • "When you have an atmosphere like this, you press hard into those blue areas as long as we have the right candidates with the right message," Christie added.
  • "The reason I want to work with Republican candidates in blue states to get elected is so we have a caucus in the House that represents the entirety of our party, the diversity of our party. And I think that will give Kevin McCarthy as Speaker a real solid governing majority to be able to do things."

The bottom line: The Cook Political Report with Amy Walter moved six Democratic-held seats toward Republicans this week — all in blue districts that Biden handily carried.

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