The Campaign Spot

Christie’s Big Lead Isn’t Helping the New Jersey GOP

For those of you hoping that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s expected big win in November would help his state party…. the outlook isn’t good:

Even as Republican Gov. Chris Christie holds a big lead over his Democratic opponent, new poll results released today show voters prefer to leave the Legislature under Democratic control. The Rutgers-Eagleton poll of 568 likely voters found that 50 percent wanted Democrats to maintain control of the state Senate and Assembly, while 38 percent said Republicans – who have not had control in a decade—should take over.

That same poll finds public opinion about evenly split on the state legislature, with about a third approving, about a third disapproving, and about a third having no opinion. Democrats hold a 48-32 majority in the Assembly and a 24-16 majority in the Senate.

When the top of the ticket’s opening and closing argument is that he’s “bipartisan,” it doesn’t leave much room to say, “vote for my party over the opposition.”

UPDATE: The Christie camp points out that part of the reason Democrats may be polling so well is that they’re emphasizing their close work with the Republican governor:

Assemblyman Dan Benson (D-Mercer), is running online campaign ads proclaiming his bipartisan cooperation with Christie. “Working together with the governor, we balanced the budget and cut business taxes,” Benson says proudly.

Benson isn’t alone: Sen. Robert Gordon (D-Bergen), one of Christie’s favorite whipping boys, is running virtually the same web ad in the 38th District. The online ads for Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D-Cape May) proclaim how he worked cooperatively with Christie to keep the Vineland Developmental Center from closing.

Even [state Sen. Linda] Greenstein’s latest web ads stress bipartisanship and public service, and do not mention Christie’s opponent, Sen. Barbara Buono (D-Middlesex), at all — even though Greenstein has campaigned alongside Buono more than almost any Democrat.

It’s Chris Christie’s state; everybody else is just running in it.


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