Little has changed since last month in the New Jersey Gubernatorial race; Republican Governor Chris Christie still leads dramatically over Democratic State Senate Majority Leader Barbara Buono, who still struggles to win even her own demographics. New Jersey's women overwhelmingly support Christie, and about a third of registered Democrats prefer him over her.
Most of the media interest in Christie takes for granted that he will sweep the Governor's race in November, and is more interested in whether he will run for President in 2016--one of the issues Buono has attempted to use against him. Polls show him the Republican with the best chance to win such a bid, running neck and neck with the leading Democrat Hillary Clinton. Meanwhile, he appears to have been moving cautiously. As several gun control bills reached his desk, he signed half of them (denying handguns to persons on the Federal terrorist watchlist, increasing penalties for gun crimes, and exempting gun records from the state's open public records law), but not others (banning .50 caliber rifles, requiring logs of ammunition sales, and allowing instant background checks). He thus appeased the state's strong gun control lobby without overly antagonizing gun rights groups, possibly with a view to his political future at the national level.
Buono's top story is her selection of a running mate, Latina labor leader Milly Silva, gaining her some support from unions. Christie's organization was quick to observe that the Lieutenant Governor hopeful had no qualifications to serve as Governor, and was chosen solely to garner votes.
On another front, Buono has been back-pedaling on previous support for expanding gambling beyond Atlantic City into the Meadowlands. Southern legislators strongly oppose such a move. Although Atlantic City was the first east coast gambling Mecca, it has lost much of its appeal as neighboring states have also cashed in on gambling as a revenue source, and competition from the northern part of the state is seen as the death knell for the city. Christie has also talked about expanding gambling, but always as secondary to restoring Atlantic City's financial strength.
Buono has a long road ahead if she hopes to have any chance at winning this election, and she has not moved at all in the right direction, but there is still time.