Chris Christie Riding High in Aftermath of Sandy

by InvestorPlace Staff | November 28, 2012 10:39 pm

[1]One of the most watched elections next year will undoubtedly be the New Jersey governor’s race. Democrats are looking to oust the brash, sometime controversial governor Chris Christie in the 2013 general election.

It may be an uphill battle for them.

In the wake of Christie’s handling of Superstorm Sandy, the governor has been polling extremely well[2]. A Farleigh Dickinson poll had him winning positive ratings from 77% of voters polled, including 67% of Democrats and 92% of independents. A Quinnipiac poll gave him a 72% approval rating, which is the highest that any New Jersey governor has received in their poll.

Additionally, most of those surveyed felt that Christie did the best job out of himself, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, or President Barack Obama in handling hurricane relief efforts.

What Sandy has done is turned what was previously a toss-up election for governor into a potential rout for Christie[3]. Two-thirds of those surveyed by Quinnipiac said he deserve to be re-elected, and the current governor leads the most prominent potential Democratic candidate, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, by double digits. A similar poll by Rutgers[4] has 59% of registered New Jersey voters supporting a second term for Christie.

What’s interesting is that Sandy has masked an economy in New Jersey that has been lagging in recent months. Unemployment has crept up from 9% in January to 9.7% currently. The state lost 12,000 jobs last month, and revenues are lagging behind previous budget projections. Despite all that, Christie appears to be sitting in the driver’s seat for reelection.

— Benjamin Nanamaker, InvestorPolitics Editor

The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.

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