Monmouth University finds that incumbent Republican Gov. Chris Christie’s re-election margin has increased.
In this morning’s poll, New Jersey voters dismiss challenger state Sen. Barbara Buono’s (D-18) portrait of the incumbent as out of step with his constituents on key issues.
Voters likely to participate in the November election give Christie a 59% to 35% lead over Buono. This 24-point margin is an increase from the 19- to 20-point leads he held in prior Monmouth University polls released earlier this month and in August.
Buono garners support from 63% of Democrats in the current poll, which is significantly lower than the 90% support Christie holds among his fellow Republicans. Independents give the incumbent a significant 65% to 26% advantage. These are the same basic dynamics as the past two Monmouth University polls.
Christie maintains a significant advantage over Buono among both men (61% to 34%) and women (57% to 35%). He trails among black voters – 34% to 55% for Buono – but leads among both white (64% to 31%) and Hispanic (50% to 44%) voters.
“We are looking at a potential 20-point margin in a blue state and an outright win among Hispanic voters. What more could a 2016 GOP presidential contender ask for?” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.
Buono’s campaign message has tried to paint Chris Christie’s views on key issues as being outside the mainstream. It does not appear that her message has taken hold. Currently, 62% of likely voters say that Christie’s views on the issues are generally in line with most New Jerseyans, while only 28% say they are out of step. On the other hand, a slight plurality of 40% say that Buono’s views are out of step compared to 34% who say they are generally in line with most Garden State residents.
Most likely voters (59%) continue to have a favorable opinion of Christie, while just 29% hold an unfavorable view. Buono’s personal ratings are a net negative of 28% favorable and 34% unfavorable. A sizable number of likely voters (38%) continue to express no opinion of the Democratic nominee with just three weeks to go before the election.
The Monmouth University Polling Institute conducted the poll by telephone from October 10 to 12, with 1,606 New Jersey voters likely to vote in the November general election. This sample has a margin of error of + 2.5 percent.