New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's enthusiasm for the Dallas Cowboys could pay political dividends should he decide to throw his hat into the ring for the 2016 presidential contest, The New York Times reported
Christie raised eyebrows on Sunday after appearing with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on an all-expenses-paid football outing and jubilantly embracing him over the team's playoff victory
"There are political benefits to being a Cowboys fan. Chief among them is the outsize role that Texas donors play in Republican politics," the Times said.
The Times said that Texas' fundraising benefits Republicans in the way Democrats get a boost from Wall Street and Hollywood when they raise money for their campaigns.
During the 2012 campaign, Texas was number one among the states for donations of $200 or more to Republican federal candidates and committees, the Times reported. In total, the GOP received $171 million from Texans in that election compared to $59.6 million for Democrats.
And preliminary figures show that the state was also the leading source of donations to Republicans during the midterm election, the Times reported.
The Times acknowledged that former President George W. Bush's status as a native boosted Republican support for the eight years he was in office, but the GOP continued to benefit heavily from Texas cash when Mitt Romney was the nominee in 2012.
That year, Republican presidential candidates raised more than $53 million from the state. President Barack Obama raised just $15 million from Texas for his re-election.
In his re-election campaign for governor, Christie received donations from 38 Texans including Roger Staubach, the Hall of Fame Cowboys quarterback credited with turning Christie on to the Cowboys in 1971.
"Any Republican wishing to be president will need Texas money — its votes are a foregone conclusion. And the way to get Texas money is to spend time with wealthy Texans," the Times said.
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