White House

Is GOP the party of Interstate 95?

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, right, listens as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie talks about recent Republican party gains during a press conference at the Republican governors' conference in Boca Raton, Fla., Nov. 19, 2014.
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, right, listens as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie talks about recent Republican party gains during a press conference at the Republican governors' conference in Boca Raton, Fla., Nov. 19, 2014. AP

Think Republicans are just a party of the South and Midwest? Take a look at the East Coast’s Interstate 95, urges new Republican Governors Association Chairman Bill Haslam.

Haslam, the governor of Tennessee, got the idea of his party as the party of I-95 when he went running one morning this week in Florida. Republican governors have been meeting this week in Boca Raton.

He saw the I-95 exit ramp and started doing the political math.

So, he said, Republicans now dominate the East Coast’s Interstate 95 corridor. Actually, they don’t in the upper part, but they’re doing well.

“The point has been made that the Republican Party is more and more...just a regional party, a party of the South. The changing demographs of the country are going to doom the Republican Party,” Haslam said.

But – “Start on I-95 and work your way North to South.”

Democrats remain dominant in the Northeast. The governor in Maine is a Republican. New Hampshire’s Democrat won a close race. Massachusetts went Republican. Connecticut and Rhode Island elected Democrats.

New York? Democrat. But New Jersey has Republican Chris Christie. Pennsylvania was a Republican loss, Delaware’s governor is a Democrat, but Maryland was a surprising Republican win. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, wasn’t up for re-election.

After that, nothing but Republicans right down to Florida.

“It’s not a regional party,” Haslam fights. “It also shows if we’re attacked by the Atlantic Ocean we’re in pretty good shape.”

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