“[S]ymbolic conservatism is popular with more moderate voters, who want to express disapproval for gay marriage and abortion, but are uncomfortable with policies that seem intrusive or intolerant. The lesson of today’s election, then, will not be that social conservatives can compete in moderate and liberal areas if they offer more explicit and articulate defenses of their views. It’s that they can get away with expressing social conservative beliefs so long as they do nothing to suggest that those beliefs are likely to end up enshrined in law.”
Samuel Goldman writing about Gov. Chris Christie in The American Conservative.