New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has rocketed to record-high approval ratings thanks to his widely praised handling of the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. A Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday found that 72 percent of the state's voters say Christie is doing a good job — the best ratings Quinnipiac has registered for a New Jersey governor in the 16 years it has polled the state. Christie, a high-profile Republican and potential 2016 presidential contender, even has the backing of 52 percent of New Jersey Democrats, many of whom were impressed with his praise for President Obama's response to the superstorm. (Republicans outside the state were, unsurprisingly, not pleased). The boost comes at a good time — Christie filed papers Monday to run for re-election next year, and a Rutgers-Eagleton Institute of Politics poll, also released Tuesday, puts him ahead of his nearest competitor, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, 53 percent to 34 percent. Is Christie going to be unbeatable in his bid for another term as New Jersey's governor?
Yes. He appears to be unbeatable in 2013: Hurricane Sandy may have made Christie's re-election bid unstoppable, says Michael Oleaga at Latinos Post. Before the storm, he led Booker by just four percentage points in a hypothetical contest. Now he's ahead by a "heavily comfortable" 19 points. Christie's high-profile championing of his state's interests after Sandy made him a hero, and he'll stay in the limelight for the foreseeable future as he leads the recovery effort.
"Chris Christie re-election: Approval numbers likely to give New Jersey governor a second term"
He looks good, but Booker will be tough to beat: There's no denying that Christie's going into the race looking strong, says Brett LoGiurato at Business Insider. Still, he's not "a lock to win re-election," especially if Booker decides to challenge him. Booker would make the campaign a "marquee match-up" pitting Christie against a popular Democrat. Christie's surging favorability ratings would make him the early favorite, but the state's "Democratic leanings" could still do him in.
"Chris Christie is officially running for governor again, and he's in great shape to win again"
And Christie still has plenty of time to blow it: "As one clever pollster put it, 'Bruce Springsteen would have to run against Chris Christie to make this a fair fight,'" says Richard K. Barry at The Reaction. Even a Democrat as strong as Booker might be "scared off" by Christie's post-Sandy bump. "November is a long way off," though. Before Christie "morphed into some kind of comic book superhero" he was a "big-mouth lout," and there's ample time for that Christie to reappear.
"Chris Christie to seek re-election"
For Christie, the trouble will start after 2013: Calling Obama's storm response "outstanding" just before Election Day did Christie a world of good in "bright blue New Jersey," says Scott Conroy at Real Clear Politics. It may have "compromised the superstar governor's standing" among Republicans outside the state, however. They see Christie's chumminess with Obama as one reason Mitt Romney lost the presidential race. The backlash could seriously hurt his chances of becoming the GOP's presidential nominee in 2016.
"Christie eyes re-election but 2016 prospects are uncertain"