But the last few months have revealed a governor whose conservatism is not just economic. In his statements, budget moves and quiet administrative actions, Mr. Christie has taken strong positions on abortion and medical marijuana; while his positions on these issues had been clear, he had said or done little about them. And he has spoken up on matters he had previously not addressed at all, like family planning and global warming — suggesting that human activity may not be causing the planet to heat up.

“He is absolutely the most conservative governor we have had in the modern history of the state,” said Ben Dworkin, director of the Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics at Rider University. “Christie has revealed a number of views that we didn’t see before, or barely saw, on things that were not on anybody’s radar screen in the 2009 election or his first months in office.”…

Mr. Christie’s opposition to abortion has long been a matter of public record, but he has barely mentioned it unless asked. Then, in January, the governor addressed a large anti-abortion rally in Trenton, saying, “This is an issue whose time has come.”

In September, he vetoed state support for family planning clinics, a move strongly backed by anti-abortion groups because some of the clinics performed abortions. Last month, after the Democratic-controlled Legislature approved a much smaller appropriation for family planning, backed mostly by federal dollars, he vetoed that, too. Mr. Christie also applied for federal money for abstinence-only education, something that the Democrat he unseated, Gov. Jon S. Corzine, had not done.