BLOOMFIELD, N.J. -- Chris Christie probably could be taking it a bit easier in this final week before Election Day.
After all, he holds a 25.4-percentage-point lead over Democratic state Sen. Barbara Buono in the latest RealClearPolitics polling average -- a downright comfortable margin by any standard.
On Wednesday, however, the New Jersey governor embarked on a seven-day, 90-stop bus tour that will take him to all 21 of the state's counties by the time the polls close on Tuesday.
He has plenty of reason to keep pushing hard, even if his re-election is not really in doubt: Christie is fighting for every last vote in this Democratic stronghold with the tacit goal of earning a historically massive victory -- one that will give him a compelling talking point in the 2016 race for the Republican presidential nomination.
Though his jam-packed schedule looks grueling on paper, it is not particularly daunting for a candidate who revels in retail politicking and appears to thrive on the energy of enthusiastic constituents, whom he engages with just about every day.
When his black, red and blue campaign bus pulled up to the Nevada Diner here on Wednesday for stop No. 4 of the jaunt, Christie was greeted by a diverse throng of supporters eager to keep in Trenton the man sent there after a tight race against incumbent Democrat Jon Corzine four years ago.