In last week’s New Jersey gubernatorial election, Republican incumbent Chris Christie, as expected, won a landslide victory over his Democratic challenger, Barbara Buono.
Much fuss was made about the fact that Christie even won the Hispanic vote in New Jersey, 51%-46%. Indeed, it is impressive for any Republican – even one as high profile as Christie – to outpoll any Democrat – even one as obscure as Buono – among Hispanic voters. Pundits immediately ginned up the political spin machine, claiming that Christie’s strong showing among Hispanic voters demonstrates that Republicans who support amnesty and benefits, like in-state tuition, for illegal aliens will reap rewards at the ballot box.
Not so fast. According to exit polling not made public by the big media outlets, Christie would not fare quite as well among Hispanic voters in a hypothetical match-up with Hillary, even in his home state of New Jersey. Hillary who? Yes, that Hillary: Hillary Clinton.
Exit polling conducted by Edison Research, which conducts such polls on behalf of a media consortium that includes ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, Associated Press, Fox News, and CNN, asked New Jersey voters to look ahead to the 2016 presidential election. If the election were held today (or, at least last Tuesday), Clinton would be the choice of 57 percent of Hispanic voters in New Jersey, compared with 33 percent who said they would vote for Christie.
So, before they get too caught up in the euphoria, Republicans might want to look a little more closely at the data from last week’s election. Unless the 2016 GOP nominee happens to find him or herself running against Barbara Buono, getting behind amnesty and huge immigration increases is not going to win them the Hispanic vote.