Chris Christie re-elected governor of New Jersey

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ASBURY PARK, New Jersey (AP) — Republican Chris Christie has been re-elected governor of New Jersey.

The Associated Press called the race Tuesday based on exit poll interviews with voters as they left polling places. The interviews were conducted for the AP and television networks ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and Fox News by Edison Research.

Christie easily defeated Democratic state Sen. Barbara Buono and did it with the kind of crossover appeal that could make him a strong contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 — if he decides to go for it. New Jersey is normally a Democratic-leaning state.

The governor’s approval ratings are running high because of his blunt, tell-it-like-it-is manner and his leadership after Superstorm Sandy struck a year ago when he worked closely with President Barack Obama.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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