Chris Christie's sizable re-election margin has increased in the most recent Monmouth University Poll . New Jersey voters dismiss challenger Barbara Buono's portrait of the incumbent as being out of step with his constituents on key issues.
Garden State voters likely to participate in the November election give Gov. Chris Christie a 59% to 35% lead over state Sen. Barbara Buono. This 24 point margin is an increase from the 19 to 20 point leads he held in prior Monmouth University polls released earlier this month and in August.
Buono garners support from 63% of Democrats in the current poll, which is significantly lower than the 90% support Christie holds among his fellow Republicans. Independents give the incumbent a significant 65% to 26% advantage. These are the same basic dynamics as the past two Monmouth University polls.
Christie maintains a significant advantage over Buono among both men (61% to 34%) and women (57% to 35%). He trails among black voters - 34% to 55% for Buono - but leads among both white (64% to 31%) and Hispanic (50% to 44%) voters.
"We are looking at a potential 20 point margin in a blue state and an outright win among Hispanic voters. What more could a 2016 GOP presidential contender ask for?" said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.
Barbara Buono's campaign message has tried to paint Chris Christie's views on key issues as being outside the mainstream. It does not appear that her message has taken hold. Currently, 62% of likely voters say that Christie's views on the issues are generally in line with most New Jerseyans, while only 28% say they are out of step. On the other hand, a slight plurality of 40% say that Buono's views are out of step compared to 34% who say they are generally in line with most Garden State residents.
Most likely voters (59%) continue to have a favorable opinion of Christie, while just 29% hold an unfavorable view. Buono's personal ratings are a net negative of 28% favorable and 34% unfavorable. A sizable number of likely voters (38%) continue to express no opinion of the Democratic nominee with just three weeks to go before the election.
The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone from October 10 to 12, 2013 with 1,606 New Jersey voters likely to vote in the November general election. This sample has a margin of error of ± 2.5 percent. The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute.
The questions referred to in this release are as follows:
1. If the election for New Jersey Governor was today, would you vote for Chris Christie, the Republican, Barbara Buono, the Democrat or some other candidate? [NAMES WERE ROTATED] [IF UNDECIDED: At this moment, do you lean toward Chris Christie or lean toward Barbara Buono?]
[QUESTIONS 2 AND 3 WERE ROTATED]
2. Is your general opinion of Chris Christie favorable, unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of him?
3. Is your general opinion of Barbara Buono favorable, unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of her?
[QUESTIONS 4 AND 5 WERE ROTATED]
4. Are Chris Christie’s views on the issues generally in line or out of step with most New Jerseyans?
5. Are Barbara Buono’s views on the issues generally in line or out of step with most New Jerseyans?
The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute from October 10 to 12, 2013 with a statewide random sample of 1,606 likely voters drawn from a list of registered voters who voted in at least two of the last four general elections, including 824 contacted by interactive voice response (IVR) on a landline telephone, 447 contacted by a live interviewer on a landline telephone and 335 contacted by a live interviewer on a cell phone. Monmouth is responsible for all aspects of the survey questionnaire design, data weighting and analysis. For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling has a maximum margin of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points. Sampling error increases as the sample size decreases, so statements based on various population subgroups, such as separate figures reported by gender or party identification, are subject to more error than are statements based on the total sample. In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.
Click on pdf file link below for full methodology and results by key demographic groups.
Download this Poll Report with all tables