Poll: Chris Christie’s popularity gets a big boost…

posted at 8:56 pm on November 21, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is sitting atop many Republicans’ you-know-what-list these days, after what seemed like some unnecessarily excessive displays of ultra-bipartisan praise of Obama in the pre-election wake of Hurricane Sandy. Yes, everyone understands that he’s the Republican governor of a blueish state and that some well-placed schmoozing to the federal government can help him gain more federal resources for his domain, but it did seem kind of over-the-top, especially after Romney gave him the keynote slot at the Republican National Convention. As Allahpundit already noted, it’s tough to believe that Christie wasn’t milking the situation for all it was worth to appeal to Democrats ahead of what could come down to a tough gubernatorial race against Newark Mayor Cory Booker, and he all-too-aptly demonstrated that for all of his conservative bombast, he’s got plenty of wily politician in him, too.

Apparently, it worked out pretty well for him — maybe not with the GOP on the whole, but at least in terms of his state-reelection prospects, it definitely gave him a popularity-boost. Via the WSJ:

Nearly two-thirds of respondents to the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll released Wednesday had a favorable view of Christie, a 17 percentage point gain from the institute’s last poll in September. …

In terms of  Christie’s response to the storm, 92% of the 1,225 residents polled said he handled it very well, including a large number of women, Democrats and those earning less than $50,000. Christie has struggled to maintain the support of women and lower-income residents in the past. …

Republicans nationally have criticized Christie for his support of President Barack Obama‘s response to the storm in New Jersey, but 81% of those polled said it was a sign of “needed cooperation.” Only 12% thought the gestures went too far.

By comparison, the poll notes, Cory Booker’s favorability rating was around 50 percent, and such a big lead over Booker isn’t a bad way for Christie to start off the yearlong countdown to the November 2013 New Jersey gubernatorial race. I don’t know that anybody doubts that Christie is keeping a weather eye on a possible 2016 bid, and if he can get just get reelected back to his governorship, then he’ll be in a prominent position to nurse his image and really start romancing the Republican party. …Weird stuff, this political business.

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