Poll: Christie's Dream of 30 Point Victory Waning

Saturday, 02 Nov 2013 05:44 PM

By Andrea Billups

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Chris Christie's big hope of a landslide crushing of his opponent by more than 30 points in Tuesday's New Jersey gubernatorial election may be waning.

A new Public Mind poll of likely Garden State voters released Friday by Fairleigh Dickinson University showed his lead over Democratic state senator Barbara Buono has dropped  significantly — down to 19 points.

Other polls taken in recent weeks have shown Christie with leads of between 24 and 33 percentage points, and the last Fairliegh Dickinson poll taken in early October had him up by 33 points.

In this latest Fairleigh Dickinson survey, taken Oct. 24-30, 59 percent of likely voters would choose Christie while 40 percent said they'd go for his opponent, a percentage still seen as broad for the New Jersey governor's race.

"The state has not seen a gap of this magnitude in a gubernatorial race in quite some time," said Public Mind poll director Krista Jenkins, a professor of political science at Fairleigh Dickinson University.

However Christie wants a whopping victory to press his case as the person best suited to attract women and minorities to the GOP in the 2016 presidential primaries.

"At this point, it is an expectations game — if he fails to meet the enormous expectations, it will make it that much tougher to mount a successful bid for 2016 and perhaps signal that this wing of the party is not as strong as some believe," Iona College political science Professor Jeanne Zaino, told the Christian Science Monitor.

Both gubernatorial candidates show power to rally their bases with 94 percent of Republican voters picking Christie and 76 percent of Democrats saying they would pick Buono. But Christie is also supported by 23 percent of Democrats and by independent voters, who would pick him by 80 percent, showing his crossover appeal.

"These numbers point to the fact that, at least for now, Christie’s appeal transcends both party and gender, given his seeming ability to navigate the difficulties associated with the ubiquitous gender gap in American elections," said Jenkins.

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