As Gov. Chris Christie barnstorms the country as head of the Republican Governors’ Association (RGA), four states have his absolute attention, confirmed as toss-ups by veteran political scientist Larry Sabato.
The toss-up states on Sabato’s list are Connecticut, Florida, Illinois and Arkansas.
Sabato rates Colorado, where incumbent Gov. John Hickenlooper is running for re-election, as “leans Democrat.”
But Christie, who this week went to Colorado to put his political footprint on the state, says Republican rancher Bob Beauprez can win that race with the RGA’s help.
He may have to, for the success of Christie’s RGA.
Sabato sees a net Democratic Party gain of one to two governorships this year.
To prevent that from happening, Christie must muscle out some victories in the toss-up states, and effect some combination of the following: help re-elect Tom Corbett in Pennsylvania (leans D, according to Sabato), prove Sabato wrong in Maine (which is also an R to D state by the political scientist’s calculation), and/or bench-press Beauprez over Hickenlooper in Colorado.
He has to do all of that while making sure that Michigan, Georgia, Kansas and South Carolina (each of them a ‘leans Republican’ state) all do what they have to do to elect Republicans.