A Quinnipiac poll released this morning indicates that Governor Chris Christie is running away with his race for reelection with 64% of the vote among likely voters, including support from 31% of Democratics.
More voters say they don’t know enough about Barbara Buono, the Middlesex County State Senator challenging Christie, than say they will vote for her. 35% say the have no opinion of her. 31% say they will vote for her. Of those saying they will vote for Buono, 7% said there is a good chance they will change their minds before they cast their ballots.
48% said they would like to see Christie run for President of the United States. 41% said they would rather he didn’t run for President.
“From the banks of the Delaware to the beaches of the Atlantic, New Jersey voters like their governor, Christopher Christie. On the banks of the Potomac? Less like the governor, but still a lot” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
With his reelection virtually assured, Christie has devoted campaign resources to pick up three State Senate seats, according to a report in PolitickerNJ.
Democrats now control the 40 seat Senate 24-16 and have thwarted much of Christie’s reform agenda throughout his first term, including failing to confirm 5 of the 6 State Supreme Court nominees the governor has put forward. There are currently 3 vacancies on the Court.
If Christie’s help propels Republicans Peter Inverso (14th District, Mercer-Middlesex), David Stahl (18th District, Buono’s Middlesex seat) and Fernando Alonso (38th District, Bergen) into the Senate, Senator Tom Kean, JR could follow in his father’s footsteps by leading a New Jersey Legislative Chamber while being in the partisan minority. In 1972, four Democrats crossed the aisle to elect Thomas H. Kean Speaker of the General Assembly.
In order for Kean, JR to be elected Senate President in a 21-19 Democratic Senate, two Democrats would have to cross the aisle. Hudson County’s Brian Stack and Essex County’s Teresa Ruiz would be the most likely to cross over. Stack has endorsed Christie’s reelection. Ruiz is the Deputy Chief of Staff to Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, a Democrat who has also endorsed Christie.