By Darryl R. Isherwood | January 10th, 2013 - 12:07pm
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With less than 10 months until voters head to the polls to choose the governor to lead the state for the next four years, Gov. Chris Christie has a 78 percent approval rating, according to a new poll.

The Kean University/NJ Speaks poll of 1,000 likely voters showed 89 percent of Republicans approve of the job the governor is doing along with 70 percent of Democrats.

Overall, only 20 percent of respondents said they disapprove of the job Christie has done.

“The governor is approaching rock star status,” said Terry Golway, director of the Kean University Center for History, Politics, and Policy. “Bruce Springsteen may start showing up at his town hall meetings.”

The poll also matched Christie head to head against three potential Democratic challengers in next November’s election, state Sen. Barbara Buono, the only declared candidate in the field, former Gov. Dick Codey and Senate President Steve Sweeney.

While the poll showed Christie defeating any of the three handily, Codey fared the best, with a 53 to 28 percent margin favoring the Republican incumbent.  Sweeney fared the worst among respondents with a margin of 58 percent to 19 percent in favor of Christie, while Buono came in at 55 percent to 22 percent in favor of the Republican governor.

In the wake of the horrific Newtown, Conn., mass murder of 20 school children and six adults last month, an overwhelming majority of respondents favor a ban on “assault weapons” with 71 percent saying they favor efforts to ban the weapons. More than half of all respondents – 56 percent - said they would be less likely to support a candidate endorsed by the National Rifle Association.

On a question on placing armed guards in schools, a controversial proposal that also stems from the Newtown massacre, voters were mixed.  A plurality of 34 percent said armed guards would make schools safer, while 27 percent said guards would make schools less safe. Twenty-nine percent of respondents said it would make no difference in school safety.

On the national front, President Obama received a 66 percent approval rating among state voters, while 58 percent blamed House Republicans for the delays in releasing aid to the areas ravaged by Superstorm Sandy.

The margin of sampling error for the full sample is +/- 3.0% percentage points.

The Back Room

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In the event that state Sen. Diane Allen (R-7) doesn't run for re-election in 2017, the party has a short list of possible candidates it could field to try to head off either Assemblyman Herb Conaway (D-7) or Assemblyman Troy Singleton (D-7).

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: July 30th

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Contributors

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The Perry-Paul Debate is Healthy for the GOP – and for America  The foreign policy debate in the media between prospective GOP Presidential candidates Texas Governor Rick Perry and... more »
(Washington DC)-- Two recent votes on Capitol Hill suggest an overdue and radical departure from our nation's Draconian and costly War on Drugs.  It's a long-overdue discussion (and not just... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

"Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, a Hudson County Democrat, is balking. He claimed Tuesday that members of his caucus are divided over the measure and that his house is in no real rush – besides, even if enacted this year, the reforms would not take effect until 2017, he said. And with the growing belief that Christie could skip town to run for president, some Democrats are not eager to give him another talking point for his résumé. Christie’s plans to stump for Republican candidates in New Hampshire later Thursday only fuel that suspicion." - columnist Charles Stile

- The Bergen Record

Poll

Who's right on the bail reform special session?:

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