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Gay marriage decision hurts Christie with conservatives

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) decision to abandon his legal fight against gay marriage has enraged social conservatives — and shows he’s betting a big reelection win next month matters more to his 2016 presidential ambitions than appealing to a religious base already leery of him.

That calculation will likely help him maintain a big lead heading into New Jersey’s Nov. 5 gubernatorial election. It takes away a major issue his Democratic opponent, state Sen. Barbara Buono, has criticized him over during the campaign.

Most polls show Christie headed for a solid double-digit reelection win, which the governor needs to bolster his case to potential Republican primary voters that he is electable in Democratic states.

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