A new poll is the second this week to indicate most New Jersey voters think Chris Christie deserves re-election next year, and is the second straight to give the Republican governor large leads over his possible Democratic challengers.
According to a Quinnipiac University survey released Wednesday morning, two-thirds of registered voters in New Jersey say Christie deserves to be re-elected in November 2013, with only one in four saying he doesn't deserve a second term in Trenton.
Two days ago a Rutgers-Eagleton poll indicated 59% of New Jersey registered voters supported a second term for Christie, with 32% opposed. That same day, Christie announced he had filed documents to set in motion his re-election bid. The filing of papers allows Christie to set up his campaign, raise re-election funds, and hire staff.
The Quinnipiac poll, the Rutgers-Eagleton survey, and a Fairleigh Dickenson University poll that also released this week all indicated Christie's approval rating and favorable ratings soaring, thanks to his response to superstorm Sandy, which slammed into New Jersey in late October, devastating parts of the state.
The news Monday that Christie will launch a re-election bid was widely expected. Much of the electoral guesswork in New Jersey now focuses on which Democrat will challenge Christie next fall, with much of the speculation centered on two-term Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who's seen as a rising star in the Democratic Party. Newark's Democratic mayor said in mid-November his decision on running for governor has been pushed back because of Sandy.
Others considering bids are state Sen. Richard Codey -- who served as governor for 14 months following the November 2004 resignation of then--Gov. Jim McGreevey -- as well as State Sen. Barbara Buono and Assembly members Lou Greenwald and John Wisniewski.
According to the Quinnipiac poll, Christie has a 53%-35% lead over Booker in a hypothetical 2013 general election matchup, with larger leads against the other possible Democratic candidates. The Rutgers-Eagleton poll also indicated Christie with large leads over all of his possible Democratic challengers in hypothetical general election matchups.
New Jersey and Virginia are the only two states to hold gubernatorial contests in the year after a presidential election. Because they are the only games in town, they often receive outsized attention.
The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted November 19-25, with 1,664 New Jersey registered voters questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 2.4 percentage points.