Update: As expected, the networks call it for Christie promptly at 8 p.m. Now we wait for the margin and the exit polls.
Update: Both the NYT and CNN have exit poll data from New Jersey. You’ll notice their numbers don’t match: CNN has Christie winning 45 percent of Latinos, which is in line with his polling, while the Times has him winning just 31 percent. The reason for the discrepancy is that exits get adjusted over the course of election night as new data comes in. One of them has outdated numbers although it’s not clear which. It’ll be a few hours before we have more solid information. The NYT data does, however, have him in the ballpark of the magic 60 percent mark overall. And CNN has him winning 56 percent of women and more than 20 percent of black voters. Impressive if that’s what the final data looks like.
Update: A pithy counterargument:
The @ChrisChristie did so well among minorities and women!!! As long as a massive historic storm hits all of America in 2016, we're solid!!!
— MexyCare.Org (@SooperMexican) November 6, 2013
Update: And a counter to the counter:
And Christie becomes the first social conservative re-elected in New Jersey.
— Patrick Ruffini (@PatrickRuffini) November 6, 2013
Update: How many points was Christie’s handling of the Sandy aftermath worth to him? Eight? Ten? Not only did it build support for him locally but, as Noah Glyn says, it probably discouraged more formidable Democrats from challenging him. This is the easiest (and soundest) way to discredit tonight’s victory if you’re a Christie-hater, I think: It’s impressive, but it’s based on a fluke. Everyone loved Giuliani after 9/11 too, and then he tried to parlay it into a national candidacy and it went nowhere.
Christie will do better than Rudy for various reasons but he risks running into the same problem of mistaking goodwill derived from solid crisis management for broad-based national support.