Gov. Chris Christie holds a 20-point lead in his bid for a second term, according to a new poll.
That lead is off some 10 points from the 30-point spread Christie has enjoyed over Democratic nominee Barbara Buono throughout the election season.
Voters favor the Republican incumbent 56 percent to 36 percent over the challenger, according to the poll from Monmouth University, down from the 61 percent to 31 percent margin he enjoyed in June.
The slight drop in polls comes largely from Democrats as support for the governor among the opposing party peaked in June at 36 percent but has dropped to 21 percent. His support among Republicans remains solid at 90 percent.
“The trend suggests that New Jersey Democrats are coming back home. But it’s not quite enough for Buono to overcome Christie’s sizable advantage among independents,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.
Christie’s popularity among women, once considered an Achilles heel of the pugilistic governor, remains strong at 54 percent against 38 percent for Buono, who last month chose a woman as her running mate and who has attacked the governor on his lack of support for women’s issues.
Christie’s approval ratings remain strong at 59 percent against 33 percent who hold an unfavorable view of the governor. Buono’s rating is about even with 27 percent having a favorable view of the Democrat against 25 percent who hold an unfavorable view. Nearly half of all respondents are familiar enough with the challenger to have an opinion.
The bubbling controversy over the governor’s appearance in television commercials touting the state’s recovery from Super Storm Sandy seems to have little effect on voters. According to the poll, nearly two thirds of respondents said it’s proper for the governor to appear in the commercials while 24 percent said it is improper.