Says "a Republican hasn't won [an election] for a presidency in New Jersey since 1988."

Chris Christie on Tuesday, August 7th, 2012 in a news conference

Chris Christie says Mitt Romney isn’t counting on New Jersey to win presidency

Gov. Chris Christie talks about Mitt Romney's chances to win New Jersey in November.

Mitt Romney can rely on the vote of at least one New Jerseyan in November: Gov. Chris Christie.

But even Christie, a top Romney surrogate tapped to deliver the keynote address on Aug. 28 at the Republican National Convention, admits the rest of the state isn’t likely to swing in favor of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

"I don't think Mitt Romney's counting our electoral votes in his column. I believe the overwhelming likelihood is that President [Barack] Obama will win New Jersey. I think all the polls indicate that," Christie said during an Aug. 7 press conference

"A Republican hasn't won [an election] for a presidency in New Jersey since 1988. And so it's a been a long haul. Could it happen? Sure, it could happen. But I think if Mitt Romney wins New Jersey he's probably going to win in 45 other states," Christie said.

PolitiFact New Jersey can’t check Christie’s electoral prediction, but we can test his claim about the state’s past votes on the Truth-O-Meter. Was 1988 the last time New Jersey went red in a presidential election?

It’s true: a majority of voters in the Garden State cast votes in 1988 for the then-GOP presidential candidate George H. W. Bush.

That wasn’t an aberration at the time. Republican nominees had won New Jersey in every presidential election since 1968.  

Bush took New Jersey in 1988 with more than 56 percent of the vote, defeating Democratic rival Michael Dukakis to secure a spot in the White House.

But four years later, New Jersey voters decided against sending Bush back to Washington for a second term.

Bill Clinton edged out Bush in New Jersey in 1992, grabbing nearly 43 percent of the state’s vote. Bush lost the state with more than 40 percent of the vote.

Since then New Jersey has voted for the Democratic presidential candidate in every election cycle.  

Here’s a breakdown of New Jersey’s presidential voting history:

Presidential Election Year Democratic Votes Republican Votes
2008: Obama vs. McCain 2,215,422 1,613,207
2004: Kerry vs. Bush 1,911,430 1,670,003
2000: Gore vs. Bush 1,788,850 1,284,173
1996: Clinton vs. Dole 1,652,361 1,103,099
1992: Clinton vs. Bush 1,436,206 1,356,865
1988: Dukakis vs. Bush 1,320,352 1,743,192
1984: Mondale vs. Reagan 1,261,323 1,933,630
1980: Carter vs. Reagan 1,147,364 1,546,557
1976: Carter vs. Ford 1,444,653 1,509,688
1972: McGovern vs. Nixon 1,102,211 1,845,502
1968: Humphrey vs. Nixon 1,264,206 1,325,467
1964: Johnson vs. Goldwater 1,867,671 963,843
1960: Kennedy vs. Nixon 1,385,415 1,363,324


Our ruling

Christie said "a Republican hasn't won [an election] for a presidency in New Jersey since 1988."

When Bush took on Dukakis in 1988, a majority of New Jersey voters cast a ballot for the Republican candidate, helping send Bush to the White House.

But four years later, the tide turned in New Jersey and the state has voted Democratic in every presidential election since.

We rate this claim True.

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