New Jersey voters continue to throw their enthusiastic support behind gregarious Gov. Chris Christie, and the Republican is poised to romp over his eventual Democratic opponent in November, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday.
A whopping 74 percent of registered voters approve of the way Christie is handling his job of his governor, the poll shows, while only 21 percent disapprove. Christie earns the approval of 56 percent of Democrats, 93 percent of Republicans and 78 percent of independents.
The poll matched Christie against three Democrats who are running or considering making a bid this November. Former interim Gov. Richard Codey comes closest, trailing Christie by 29 percentage points, 59 percent to 30 percent. Christie's leads over state Senate President Steve Sweeney and state Sen. Barbara Buono are 36 and 41 percentage points, respectively.
Buono is the only one of the three to announce her candidacy. Codey and Sweeney are still mulling the race. Among registered Democrats, Codey is the preferred choice of 28 percent, with Buono and Sweeney each earning 10 percent support. A 43-percent plurality of Democrats are undecided, however.
Christie has earned major points from Garden State voters for bucking GOP leaders in Washington over their response to Hurricane Sandy. Nearly four-in-five voters, 79 percent, say Christie was right to criticize House Speaker John Boehner and House Republicans for delaying a vote on the Sandy relief bill earlier this month, including 70 percent of Republicans. Overall, the GOP's image in New Jersey is in the tank: Just 29 percent have a favorable opinion of the Republican Party, compared to 57 percent who view the GOP unfavorably.
The Quinnipiac poll was conducted Jan. 15-21, surveying 1,647 registered voters. The margin of error for the full sample is plus-or-minus 2.4 percentage points. For the subsample of 616 registered Democrats, the margin of error is plus-or-minus 4.4 percentage points.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this post incorrectly reported the size of Christie's lead over Buono in the poll.