Bloomberg News

Booker Nears Christie in Potential 2013 N.J. Matchup

October 17, 2012

Republican Chris Christie faces some competition more than a year before New Jersey’s next election for governor, a voter survey released today shows.

Newark Mayor Cory Booker, a Democrat who has allied with Christie on some education issues, trailed the first-term governor by 4 percentage points in a theoretical 2013 matchup, the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute said.

Christie, who has yet to say whether he’ll seek a second term, would beat Booker, 46 percent to 42 percent, the survey shows. The governor’s approval rating rose to 56 percent from 53 percent in a Sept. 5 poll, though it trails a record reached in April, according to the school in Hamden, Connecticut.

“Booker could give Governor Christie a run for his money, if the mayor decides to run,” Maurice Carroll, the institute’s director, said in a statement with the poll results. “Let’s see how the field shapes up if Booker takes a pass.”

Booker, 43, is midway through his second four-year term as mayor of the state’s largest city. A graduate of Stanford University and Yale Law School, he gained visibility when Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg pledged $100 million to support the impoverished city’s school system.

More than half of those queried, 52 percent, said Christie deserves re-election next year. The governor’s next closest hypothetical 2013 challenger was Richard Codey, a Senate Democrat from Roseland who served more than a year as governor following the resignation of James McGreevey. Codey trailed Christie 41 percent to 47 percent in the Quinnipiac poll.

Democrats hold a 700,000-voter registration advantage in the state and control the Assembly, 48-32, and the Senate, 24- 16. Christie became the first Republican elected governor in New Jersey since 1997 when he ousted Democrat Jon Corzine in 2009. His approval rating reached 59 percent in an April Quinnipiac Poll.

The telephone survey of 1,405 registered voters Oct. 10-14 had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points.

To contact the reporter on this story: Terrence Dopp in Trenton at tdopp@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Merelman at smerelman@bloomberg.net.


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