TRENTON — Gov. Chris Christie is cashing in donations from top Democratic fundraisers and other traditionally liberal donors across the country, even nabbing the support of a handful of rainmakers aligned with President Obama and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a Star-Ledger review of state and federal records shows.
The checks are flying into the Republican governor’s war chest from
all sorts of unlikely places — the hedge fund run by liberal billionaire
George Soros, for example, and the politically progressive halls of the
University of California, Berkeley.
The nascent support from Democratic donors is an early sign of
Christie’s fundraising prowess in a potential run for the White House in
2016, experts and Democratic donors said, and dovetails with recent
polls showing him gaining popularity nationally among Democrats and
Christie’s partnership with New Jersey Democratic leaders and his
warm relationship with Obama after Hurricane Sandy could be enticing
donors who don’t often give to GOP candidates, even if they are closer
ideologically to Democrat Barbara Buono, Christie’s lesser-known
challenger, political scientists and Democratic fundraisers say.
"While I do not agree with his stance on every issue, he is one of
the best political leaders I have talked to in a long time," said Ken
Rosen, a UC-Berkeley professor who cut a $3,800 check to Christie after
chatting with him at two events. "He is willing to take on tough issues
such as pension reform, education reform, mental-health issues, even if
his views are not politically correct." (CONTINUES)