TODAY   |  November 05, 2013

Chuck Todd: Christie is proving he’s electable

NBC News’ chief political director Chuck Todd says the governor races in New Jersey and Virginia may shed some light on the 2016 presidential race as special attention is paid to Chris Christie’s run.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> it's election day and two key battles are getting attention this morning. good morning, chuck todd .

>> good morning.

>> these are races that have significant beyond the state boarders. let's start in new jersey. is chris christie trying to show she has cross over appeal?

>> he's absolutely doing this. they're barely hiding the fact that they hope a big re-election victory for him. no republican has gotten over 50% in the state of virginia since the 80s. he might get over 60. george w. bush ran up a big re-election score in texas. did well among hispanics and african americans and the message was look at me, i can win, i'm electable. that's the message he wants to send in new jersey.

>> so he may say i am electable in a general election but he has to get through the republican primary if he is somebody that can prevail in a primary where sometimes the further right the candidate is, that's who the voters like.

>> that's the difficult part. he has been talking up things like -- he says i'm a conservative but i'm willing to work across the aisle. he has a general election message down. i don't know how he gets through the primary. his supporters will say he's a pro-life governor. we'll see, iowa is a different place than new jersey.

>> very quickly, do you think chris christie is the opponent that hilary clinton fears the most?

>> democrats fear him. they're regretting the fact that they didn't start taking a piece out of him. they are saying what have we done? we have allowed him to use his friendship with president obama to build himself up.

>> let's talk about virginia . this tells a story larger than within the common wealth boarders. you have a tea party republican candidate that may lose to a democrat in a traditional republican strong hold.

>> there's a lot of anti- tea party republicans. we have chris christie appealing to moderates and look at how that's going in new jersey. you have a tea party that took over the virginia republican party and look at how that's going. virginia republicans could get all three statewide races. they could be swept this year. that's the first time that would have happened since the 80s. there will be a lot of i told you sos on where the split of the republican party is. virginia could be tea party losses and new jersey moderate republicans winning.