New Jersey GOP Gov. Chris Christie holds a commanding lead against potential Democratic challenger Cory Booker for the 2014 gubernatorial race, according to a new poll from Rutgers University
The survey of registered New Jersey voters gave Christie 53 percent support and Newark Mayor Booker 34 percent. It was taken Nov. 14-17.
Despite his wide deficit, Booker fared better than other potential Democratic candidates. Christie leads State Sen. and former Gov. Richard Codey 56 percent to 31 percent, State Sen. Barbara Buono 60 to 22 percent, Assemblyman Lou Greenwald 60 to 21 percent, and former Democratic state chairman Tom Byrne 58 to 22 percent.
Christie’s performance during Superstorm Sandy in October and afterward has clearly done wonders for him. A total of 59 percent of New Jersey voters now support his re-election, and only 32 percent are opposed. That’s a strong shift from late September, when 44 percent wanted him to serve a second term and 47 percent didn’t.
Before the storm, "things looked much different for Christie, as Democrats seemed positioned for a serious challenge next year,” David Redlawsk, director of the poll, said in a statement. “Voters were evenly split over the governor’s re-election, and Mayor Booker in particular looked like a very strong competitor. Post-Sandy, however, the political environment has changed.”
Christie’s most important gains came among Democrats and independents. He doubled his support among Democrats after Sandy — to 38 percent. As for independents, 66 percent now favor his re-election, up from 44 percent in late September.
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