1 month ago Josh Barro, Business Insider
Mitt Romney's infamous "47%" remarks were a despairing message to the Republican Party: only a bare majority of Americans are interested in anything other than a government handout.
Republicans can forget about landslides. Their best hope is to line up nearly all of the non-taker voters to win by a slim majority.
As Gov. Chris Christie (R) prepares to romp to a landslide re-election in New Jersey on Tuesday, he has a message for Republicans everywhere: There's no need to limit yourself to 53% if you stop despairing and follow my lead.
On Sunday evening, here's what Christie told Morris County voters, at a rally held by the New Jersey Outdoor Alliance:
We need to show the Republican party in America that we can win again. And guess where they're going to be watching on Tuesday night to see if we win: right here in New Jersey.
Christie was too polite to say this, but Republicans will actually be watching two states on Tuesday: New Jersey, where Christie will win a landslide, and Virginia, where Republican nominee Ken Cuccinelli will lose badly.
Unlike Christie, Cuccinelli is a favorite of conservatives who love ideological purity and hate compromise. You could hardly come up with a better test case for Christie's compromise-or-die message.
But despair is one of the few things that unites today's fractured GOP. Republicans much more conservative than Romney share his basic diagnosis from the 47% speech. It's an open question whether the juxtaposition of Christie's landslide and Cuccinelli's burial will be enough to convince Republicans that broad popularity is possible and worth compromising for.