WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was rallying conservative activists in Iowa, saying his success in a Democratic state shows his tough-talking, smaller government message resonates with voters.

Christie spoke Monday night to about 700 people at fundraiser for former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, who was challenging the Democratic incumbent for his old job back.

Christie said Republicans must deliver on their promises if they gain power in November. If they don’t, voters will send the GOP “to the wilderness, and they are going to send us there for a long, long time.”

Christie said he’s not planning a presidential run in 2012, but his speech didn’t dampen speculation. Iowa is home to the nation’s first presidential caucus and is a key destination for presidential hopefuls.

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