Gov. Chris Christie picked a good time to announce his plans to run for re-election.
According to a new Quinnipiac University survey released this morning, a whopping 72 percent of New Jersey voters approve of the job he is doing, a 16-point jump since before Superstorm Sandy battered his state's shores. The Republican governor's popularity extends well beyond his party, too: 77 percent of independents and 52 percent of Democrats gave him the thumbs up. His overall approval rating is the highest Quinnipiac pollsters have seen in the Garden State in more than a decade and a half.
A second poll out today, meanwhile, shows that Christie's currently the runaway favorite to win the 2013 election. The Rutgers-Eagleton Institute of Politics poll shows Christie with a 19-point lead (53 percent to 34 percent) over Newark Mayor Cory Booker, a rising star within the Democratic Party and the man considered most likely to challenge Christie next fall.
Christie filed paperwork to run for re-election yesterday. While that move wasn't at all unexpected, it nonetheless allowed the New Jersey Republican the chance to be showered with the latest reminders of his surging popularity. While polling numbers like these often make for smaller news items, when coupled with a re-election announcement and press conference they get that much more play.
Here's the second graph from the the write-up on NJ.com, a super-site for a dozen of the state's newspapers, for example:
The blunt-talking governor, who has been riding a surge in popularity for his omnipresent leadership since Hurricane Sandy took aim at New Jersey, said he was making the announcement early so residents knew they could count on him to help rebuild the battered state.
And the first from the New York Daily News:
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has put in his papers to run for another term amidst a bounce in the polls from his response to Superstorm Sandy, which trashed acres of the Garden State, including much of his beloved Jersey Shore.
It seems like the only people not singing Christie's praises lately are in his own national party, many of whom still see his post-storm embrace of Obama as something that may have cost Mitt Romney the election.