Winners and Losers: Week of August 8

WINNERS 

Chris Christie

This morning’s Monmouth University Poll showed the Republican governor trending in the right direction. In the poll, Christie registered a 48% approval rating among registered voters. But among just registered voters, his rating stands at 50% approve to 41% disapprove, the first time he hit the 50% mark in this poll since assuming office.

Chris Brown

The Burlington County Freeholder from Evesham received the backing from the Burlington County Republican Committee to run for a full term as the replacement for retiring Assemblyman Pat Delany.

Len Luciano

The Newark educator from West Caldwell took the oath of office as the 4th District Essex County freeholder this week, after collecting the support of the Essex County Democratic Committee. Luciano faces Republican Joe Chiusolo of Cedar Grove in November’s general election.

Rick Perry

The Texas governor generated a week’s worth of media buzz as his entrée into an announcement tomorrow that he intends to pursue the Republican nomination for president.

LOSERS

Mitt Romney

With tomorrow’s formal announcement that Texas Gov. Rick Perry will get in the race for president, the front-running former Massachusetts governor will have to fend off a decade-long sitting governor with evangelical backing to land the nomination.

Tim Pawlenty

In Thursday night’s Fox News debate, the former Minnesota governor was reduced to scrapping with U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) as he desperately tried to gain traction ahead of tomorrow’s Ames Iowa Straw Poll.

Vince Polistina

The Republican assemblyman has tried early to portray his opponent, state Sen. Jim Whelan (D-2), as a public sector sloth, but the attack message got garbled this week as Democrats unveiled a website detailing millions Polistina’s engineering firm makes from public sector contracts, including three with government entities in Polistina’s hometown of Egg Harbor Twp.

Steve Sweeney and Sheila Oliver

The Senate President and Assembly Speaker failed to garner the backing of the state’s largest teachers union, which released its list of endorsements last Saturday. Making the Democratic leaders pay for their support of pension and healthcare reform, the union denied Sweeney and Oliver. It won’t impact the pair as they pursue re-election in safe or relatively safe districts, but could impact their leadership positions within their respective Democratic caucuses and, at the very least, could keep their party divided.

Dana Redd

The mayor of Camden this week lost Police Director Lanuel J. Ferguson, who resigned only a month after Redd appointed him. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the city had not employed a civilian police director since 2009, and Ferguson’s $100,000-per-year salary drew sustained jeers. Law enforcement sources told the Inquirer that in recent weeks the lawman “had grown frustrated by the political fight over his appointment.”

Barack Obama

The President’s approval rating fell 8 points among New Jersey registered voters since SEALs killed Osama bin Laden. A Monmouth University Poll showed Obama with a 52% approval rating in the Garden State.

Winners and Losers: Week of August 8