New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie won re-election in a landslide on Tuesday, a victory seen as boosting his widely expected bid for the White House in 2016.
Christie was projected the winner within minutes of the polls' closing by CNN, CBS, and NBC.
Cheers erupted among hundreds of supporters at the Asbury Park Convention Center, where Christie was slated to deliver his victory remarks.
"He speaks his mind. It's not all sound bites, which is refreshing," said Gregory Christie, of Wall, N.J., who said he was not related to the governor. "[He can] work well across the aisle. That's very important to me."
The big win by the blunt, tough-talking incumbent was expected by political experts to solidify his party standing nationally, showing he can win votes from both Republicans and Democrats.
Christie had said on the campaign trail that he was hoping for a big margin of victory at the polls.
In an election-day interview on CNN, he said, "My goal always in this race has been to at least get to 50 percent plus one, and anything above that is gravy."
A former prosecutor, Christie has been highly visible working with Democrats such as newly elected U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, former mayor of Newark.
He notably praised President Barack Obama last year for his response to New Jersey's needs after Hurricane Sandy devastated the state.
That gesture, which Christie explained was part of his job, infuriated many Republicans nationwide who thought it hurt their presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, days later at the ballot box.
Christie's popularity has remained high since the storm swept ashore, caused billions of dollars in damage, and displaced hundreds of thousands of people.
Political experts had said that a big win would catch the eye of potential major political donors nationally.
© Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.