Real Clear – Barbour on 2010 gov. elections

If Bob McDonnell and Chris Christie win gubernatorial elections this fall, some Republicans will be eager to call it the first sign of a comeback for the party. One person who won’t be, apparently, is Gov. Haley Barbour, chair of the Republican Governors Association.

Asked specifically about the contest in New Jersey on a conference call today, Barbour said: “Chris Christie is ahead in the polls in New Jersey because people in New Jersey don’t like what Jon Corzine’s done.” It’s the Democrats who are eager to nationalize the race, he added, while Republicans like him “think that race, and I hope that race, is decided very much on local and New Jersey issues.”

It’s not surprising in New Jersey, where Republicans have not won a statewide election since 1997. Christie is hardly calling attention to his partisan affiliation, something national party leaders praised. And even in a blue state, they don’t think President Obama will make a difference.

“Barack Obama didn’t get Jon Corzine’s job approval down to 35 percent,” Barbour said. “Christie’s ahead in the polls in New Jersey because people in New Jersey look over the four years that Corzine has been governor, and they don’t like the results.”

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