“Recent polling confirms” that Gov. Chris Christie (R) has made “enormous strides” with black voters. In 2009, Christie won “just 9 percent of African-American voters.” In a Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday, Christie “earns 36 percent of the black vote. … To put that standing in recent historical perspective, no Republican presidential, Senate, or gubernatorial candidate in the state Jersey has topped 17 percent of the African-American vote in more than two decades.”
If Christie wins around 30% of the black vote this November, “it will give him a powerful 2016 talking point with Republicans voters from New Hampshire to Nevada, who will be eager to nominate someone with a wide enough appeal to regain the White House after the GOP’s years in the political wilderness.”
Christie spokesman Kevin Roberts: “One of the things we’re most proud of in this campaign is that we’re really playing on our opponent’s turf. That has as much to do with the governor’s personality as it does with the way he’s governed for the last three years. He didn’t get into office and ignore inner cities and urban areas.” (RealClearPolitics)
CHRISTIE UP 18: In a new Kean University/Pulse Opinion Reserach (IVR) poll (Sept. 19; 1,000 LVs; +/- 3.1%), Christie leads state Sen. Barbara Buono (D), 52-34%.
MITT HIT: Buono on Wednesday linked Christie’s economic policies to fprmer Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R). Buono: “It’s the Romney economy in a fleece. We know where that has left us. … At the bottom of the barrel.” (Bergen Record)
BUONO TARGETS CHRISTIE ON GAY MARRIAGE: Buono also said Wednesday that Christie’s “opposition to gay marriage is ‘purely political’ and not about protecting the institution of marriage from lawmakers.” Buono: “Every single decision he makes is based on whether he thinks it will advance or damage his standing in the Republican primary for president.” (Newark Star-Ledger)
— Kevin Brennan
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President Obama became a surprise topic of contention toward the end of the Democratic debate, as Hillary Clinton reminded viewers that Sanders had challenged the progressive bona fides of President Obama in 2011 and suggested that someone might challenge him from the left. “The kind of criticism that we’ve heard from Senator Sanders about our president I expect from Republicans, I do not expect from someone running for the Democratic nomination to succeed President Obama,” she said. “Madame Secretary, that is a low blow,” replied Sanders, before getting in another dig during his closing statement: “One of us ran against Barack Obama. I was not that candidate.”
It’s all about the 1% and Wall Street versus everyone else for Bernie Sanders—even when he’s talking about race relations. Like Hillary Clinton, he needs to appeal to African-American and Hispanic voters in coming states, but he insists on doing so through his lens of class warfare. When he got a question from the moderators about the plight of black America, he noted that during the great recession, African Americans “lost half their wealth,” and “instead of tax breaks for billionaires,” a Sanders presidency would deliver jobs for kids. On the very next question, he downplayed the role of race in inequality, saying, “It’s a racial issue, but it’s also a general economic issue.”
It’s been said in just about every news story since New Hampshire: the primaries are headed to states where Hillary Clinton will do well among minority voters. Leaving nothing to chance, she underscored that point in her opening statement in the Milwaukee debate tonight, saying more needs to be done to help “African Americans who face discrimination in the job market” and immigrant families. She also made an explicit reference to “equal pay for women’s work.” Those boxes she’s checking are no coincidence: if she wins women, blacks and Hispanics, she wins the nomination.
Under pressure from a judge, the State Department will release about 550 of Hillary Clinton’s emails—“roughly 14 percent of the 3,700 remaining Clinton emails—on Saturday, in the middle of the Presidents Day holiday weekend.” All of the emails were supposed to have been released last month. Related: State subpoenaed the Clinton Foundation last year, which brings the total number of current Clinton investigations to four, says the Daily Caller.