“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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"The Senate standstill over a stopgap spending bill appeared headed toward a resolution on Friday night. Senators who were holding up the measure said votes are expected later in the evening. West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin had raised objections to the continuing resolution because it did not include a full year's extension of retired coal miners' health benefits," but Manchin "said he and other coal state Democrats agreed with Senate Democratic leaders during a caucus meeting Thursday that they would not block the continuing resolution, but rather use the shutdown threat as a way to highlight the health care and pension needs of the miners."
Donald Trump transition team announced Friday afternoon that top supporter Rudy Giuliani has taken himself out of the running to be in Trump's cabinet, though CNN previously reported that it was Trump who informed the former New York City mayor that he would not be receiving a slot. While the field had seemingly been narrowed last week, it appears to be wide open once again, with ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson the current favorite.
The House has completed it's business for 2016 by passing a spending bill which will keep the government funded through April 28. The final vote tally was 326-96. The bill's standing in the Senate is a bit tenuous at the moment, as a trio of Democratic Senators have pledged to block the bill unless coal miners get a permanent extension on retirement and health benefits. The government runs out of money on Friday night.
The Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act today, sending the $618 billion measure to President Obama. The president vetoed the defense authorization bill a year ago, but both houses could override his disapproval this time around.