Except that women love him. A recent Quinnipiac University poll that showed Christie with a commanding 35-point lead in the race also found that 66 percent of women view him favorably.

The silver lining for Buono: 81 percent of women haven’t heard enough about her to form an opinion. That means Buono has seven months to raise her profile and shred Christie’s positive image. It’s a daunting task for a candidate who has never run statewide before and is expected to face an enormous fundraising disadvantage against the one of the most popular Republican governors in the country. …

Christie has employed similar delicacy when discussing gay marriage, stating his personal opposition while also endorsing a proposed statewide referendum that could overturn his veto. Same-sex marriage is backed by a solid majority of New Jersey voters, including 68 percent of women. “Let the people of New Jersey decide what’s right for the state,” Christie said last year, projecting a live-and-let-live attitude.

Buono’s success depends on whether she can cast Christie in a much harsher light by reminding voters that he once supported a constitutional ban on abortion and that his family-planning spending cuts led to the closure of six women’s health clinics. Pro-Buono protesters outside a fundraiser at the home of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg last month shouted, “Hey, Facebook, shame on you. Christie hurts women and now you do, too.”