New Jersey governor Chris Christie continues to hold a sizable lead over his Democratic rival less than one week before election day according to Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind. According to the poll released today, Christie enjoys a 59 percent to 40 percent lead over Barbara Buono, the Democratic nominee.
“The state has not seen a gap of this magnitude in a gubernatorial race in quite some time,” said Krista Jenkins, director of PublicMind and professor of political science at Fairleigh Dickinson University. “The 2001 race between Republican Bret Schundler and Democrat Jim McGreevey certainly comes to mind, but that was over a decade ago. In this polarized political environment, the degree of support that Christie has in a ‘blue’ state is something that is likely to distinguish him from other Republican leaders.”
The poll continues to validate assumptions that this year's gubernatorial race was an uphill climb for Buono from the very beginning. Particularly difficult for Buono is the fact that the poll shows that Christie has a favorable rating from 62 percent of those polled, as compared to only 39 percent who view the Democrat favorably.
Christie's favorable rating of 62 percent demonstrates that the election is most likely a foregone conclusion at this point, but Democrats also have a vested interest in keeping the margin low for two reasons. First, state Democrats want to minimize any coattails that Christie has, since they control both houses of the legislature. All 120 seats in the New Jersey General Assembly and state Senate are up for re-election on Tuesday November 5th.
Secondly, a landslide victory would continue to validate Christie's reputation as a bi-partisan leader, who is able to attract voters from across the aisle. In New Jersey, any victory by a Republican statewide over 55 percent would be considered a landslide, given the sizable voter advantage that the Democrats hold.