Chris Christie is the most popular New Jersey governor in almost 20 years, according to a new poll that puts his job approval rating at 74 percent.
The Quinnipiac University survey
of 1,149 registered voters taken Feb. 13-17 also found that the Republican's favorability rating is 69 percent compared to 22 percent who don't favor him. He even scored high among Democrats, 47 percent of whom said they liked him; 38 percent did not.
The poll found that Christie's re-election chances later this year are looking pretty good. At the moment he's leading the likely Democratic challenger, state Sen. Barbara Buono, 62 percent to 25 percent.
Among women polled, 54 percent support Christie and 31 percent do not; men overwhelmingly favor him 71 percent to 18 percent. While the election is still months away, Buono clearly faces an uphill battle; only 51 percent of likely Democratic voters indicated support for her.
Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said the survey shows Buono will have to become much better known to present a competitive challenge, a view echoed by 83 percent of respondents, who said they don’t know enough about her to form an opinion.
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“No one knows her and Christie is clobbering her,” he said. “Most governors would kill for a 56 percent job-approval rating. Republican Chris Christie gets that from Democrats!”
But when asked about his presidential potential in 2016, survey participants said they would prefer Hillary Clinton over Christie, 49 percent to 45 percent. Clinton beat him among Democrats, 86 percent to 14 percent, but Christie did slightly better with independents, leading Clinton 48 percent to 44 percent.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo also is being eyed by Democrats as a potential presidential contender in 2016. In that hypothetical matchup, the poll indicated Christie would beat Cuomo 54 percent to 36 percent.
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