(LIVINGSTON, N.J.) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie launched his final sprint to Election Day with a bus tour Wednesday. With seven stops at diners and community centers, the tour felt more like a victory lap than the last days of a campaign.
As Christie greeted voters, it seemed as if he was inviting almost every person to his Election Night party in Asbury Park on Nov. 5.
“Brother, are you coming Tuesday night?” the governor asked supporter after supporter. “See you Tuesday night!” he said to many more.
Christie faces off against state Sen. Barbara Buono, and a Quinnipiac poll from earlier in the week still has him leading by a two to one margin, or by 64 percent to Buono’s 31 percent. The poll also shows that among New Jersey likely voters, 48 percent to 41 percent would like to see their governor run for president in 2016. Christie won by only four points when he was up against incumbent Democrat Jon Corzine in 2009.
“Just being the incumbent makes it different,” Christie said after his fourth stop of the day. “I was saying on the bus on the way in, there were no lights and sirens greeting us everywhere four years ago. It makes it different.”
But there’s another reason it’s different this time around. The number of elected or office-holding Democrats who have publicly backed Christie stands at 58, according to his campaign, and ethnically diverse events are packed with Democrats and people who describe themselves as independent. That’s something that of course would be key to any presidential campaign if Christie decides to run in 2016.
Christie told ABC News at his fourth stop of the day at the Nevada Diner in Bloomfield that his “job is to run as hard as I can, get as many votes as I can.”
“Run as hard as I can and be as inclusive as I can,” he said. “You want to win as many votes as you can.”
When asked if that’s a message Republicans throughout the country should take note of, Christie turned coy, an adjective not usually applied to the governor.
“I think every candidate has to make their own choices about what their message is, and part of the problem is they worry too much,” he said. “Everyone’s got to make their own decisions, and what people want is for you to say what you feel from your heart and to be authentic, and so I’m not going to suggest what other people should be saying or doing. I say and do what I’m comfortable with. You know, if it works for other people, good for them, but they’ve got to believe in it. I believe what I’m talking about.”
In August, Christie spoke at the Republican National Committee’s summer meeting in Boston, and his message to the party was that the GOP “needs to win,” not just talk, a message he is sure to push if he decides to run for president in 2016. And to win, Republicans will of course need Democrats on board.
“I don’t care what you read in the newspapers about these polls. Polls are wonderful, and heck, I’m very happy to be ahead in the polls, but that does not mean you are relieved from your duty of going out to vote on Tuesday,” Christie told a large group of senior citizens at the Fairlawn Senior Center on his third stop Wednesday.
“Who you vote for matters. It’s not necessarily about the party it’s about the person, and you need to make a judgment who is going to represent you best, who is going to make you proud, who is going to have your interests at stake,” he continued.
The governor told the group that he knows not everyone is going to agree with him on everything, saying with a smile, “You know this, you’re from here. The only person you agree with all the time is you. You never agree with everybody. That shouldn’t be the test.”
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio