05-24-2017  12:38 pm      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Photos: Fundraiser for Sunshine Division's Assistance Programs

Under the Stars fundraiser took place on May 18 at the Melody Grand Ballroom ...

Portland Joins National Movement to End Prostate Cancer

Second annual ZERO Prostate Cancer Run/Walk returns this June ...

Governor Kate Brown Signs Foster Children’s Sibling Bill of Rights

Current and former foster youth advocated for policy to maintain critical sibling relationships ...

Multnomah County Opens Three Cooling Centers Monday

Centers will help seniors and people with disabilities and other health conditions stay safe ...

PSU’s Archaeology Roadshow Highlights Travel and Trade in Pacific NW

The June 3 event is free and open to the public ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

CFPB Sues Ocwen Financial over Unfair Mortgage Practices

What many homeowners soon discover is that faithfully paying a monthly mortgage is in some cases, just not enough ...

B-CU Grads Protest Betsy “DeVoid” in Epic Fashion

Julianne Malveaux says that Betsy “DeVoid,” is no Mary McLeod Bethune ...

NAACP on Supreme Court's Decline to Review NC Voter ID Law

NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks made the following remarks ...

To End AIDS in the United States, Stay True to the National HIV/AIDS Strategy

Original convenors of National AIDS Strategy share thoughts on the way forward ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT


The fact that Chris Christie rolled to a second term in New Jersey and Terry McAuliffe won in Virginia wasn't a surprise. Public opinion polls have consistently shown both men in the lead.

But the exit polls showed two very different paths to victory.

Christie steamrolled hapless Democratic nominee Barbara Buono, 60 percent to 39 percent with 80 percent of the vote counted, crushing her in almost every key demographic. It was the biggest victory for a GOP gubernatorial candidate in New Jersey since Tom Kean was running in the 1980s.

McAuliffe's victory was much narrower than most of the polls indicated, 48 percent to 46 percent with 98 percent of the vote in. He didn't win every key group -- self-described independents broke for Republican nominee Ken Cuccinelli -- but he successfully stoked fears about Cuccinelli's strident brand of conservatism in an increasingly moderate battleground state.

Let's start with New Jersey.

Christie beat his female opponent among women by 16 points. He won self-described moderates by more than 20 points. He won independents by more than 30 points. He won voters making less than $50,000. He won voters making more than $100,000.

Christie did very well for a Republican with core Democratic constituencies. He won 49 percent of voters between the ages of 18 and 29. He won roughly three in 10 self-described liberals. He won 50 percent of the Hispanic vote. And he won roughly 20 percent of the African-American vote.

These are all critical selling points for Republicans hungry to take back the White House in 2016.

If there's one warning sign for Christie's 2016 hopes, it's the fact that the exit polls show he would lose his home state to Hillary Clinton by four points. That doesn't fit with the narrative that he's a Republican capable of winning in blue America.

Half of New Jersey voters said Christie would make a good president. But that doesn't mean 50 percent of New Jersey voters would necessarily back him if he runs for the White House.

Christie will have to walk a fine line over the next couple of years, bolstering his standing among national GOP primary voters while maintaining his credibility with more independent and Democratic-leaning voters. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney couldn't do it.

As for Virginia, McAuliffe won by getting his base to the polls. Democrats were the biggest partisan voting bloc in the state, comprising 37 percent of the total electorate and backing the former Democratic National Committee chairman by a 93-point margin.

McAuliffe hit Cuccinelli hard during the campaign on hot button social issues like abortion, and the strategy paid off. Cuccinelli actually won among the 72 percent of voters who cared most about the economy or health care. But among the 20 percent of voters who called abortion the most important issue, McAuliffe won by 25 points, 59 percent-34 percent.

Half of Virginia voters called Cuccinelli's issue positions too conservative. Only 41 percent called McAuliffe's positions too liberal.

In the end, Cuccinelli was hurt by the same tea party alliance that won him the nomination at the Virginia GOP convention earlier this year. Only 28 percent of Virginia voters said they support the tea party movement. Forty-two percent said they oppose it, and they broke for McAuliffe by more than 70 points.

And no, Cuccinelli can't blame his loss on scandal-plagued outgoing GOP Gov. Bob McDonnell or third-party libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis.

Despite his scandals, Virginia voters said they approve of McDonnell's job performance by 11 points, 52 percent to 41 percent. And if Sarvis had not been in the race, exit polls indicate McAuliffe still would have beaten Cuccinelli by two points, 48 percent to 46 percent.

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