Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie leads his Democratic opponent State Senator Barbara Buono by 40 percentage points, according to a poll conducted by the Stockton Polling Institute.
Christie garners 64 percent of those intending to vote, while Buono receives slightly more than 24 percent, with 10 percent not sure or voting for someone else.
The poll was conducted with 741 likely voters from June 8-13. Interviewers called both land lines and cell phones. The survey has a margin of error of +/-3.6 percent. The Stockton Polling Institute is part of the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.
"Governor Christie's appearances with President Obama, and his handling of Sandy, clearly have boosted Christie's campaign for reelection," said Daniel J. Douglas, Director of the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy.
Likely voters were asked: "Would Governor Christie's close working relationship with President Obama on the storm recovery make you more likely or less likely to vote for the governor, or would it make no difference?" 26 percent said they were more likely to vote for Christie, 3 percent were less likely and 71 percent said it made no difference or were unsure.
"Christie's relationship with Obama helps him most with Democrats and independents, with 30 percent of Democrats and 27 percent of independents being more likely to vote for Christie. Still 23 percent of Republicans are more likely to vote for Christie," said Douglas. "And with only 3 percent of Republicans saying his relationship with Obama makes them less likely to vote for him, the bipartisanship is not hurting the Governor among his base in New Jersey."
Christie gets high marks on his handling of Superstorm Sandy, with 94 percent viewing him as being effective and only 4 percent as not being effective. President Barack Obama also received high marks, but not as high as Christie. 76 percent rated the President as being effective while 19 percent viewed him as ineffective.
Buono suffers from both low name recognition and upside-down favorability ratings. More than half of those surveyed had no opinion of Buono, a state senator from Middlesex County. And of those who are familiar with Buono, 24 percent had an unfavorable opinion of her and 21 percent viewed her favorably.
By contrast, three-quarters of those surveyed had a favorable view of Christie, with 22 percent having an unfavorable opinion of the Governor.
Part of Christie's success can be attributed to 60 percent of those surveyed believing New Jersey is going in the right direction, while 26 percent feel that it is off on the wrong track, the poll says.
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