NJ-GOV: Christie Continues to Lead Struggling Corzine

Republican candidate for governor Christopher Christie continues to lead incumbent Governor Jon Corzine, according to a new poll released in the governor’s race.  The Public Mind poll shows Christie with a statistically significant 45-39 percent lead over Corzine, although Corzine has narrowed the gap from 42-33 since the last poll by the group in April.  This is the sixth consecutive survey showing Christie with a healthy lead over the Democrat, and the only one of the six to show him garnering less than 50 percent.

The poll is a catalog of bad news for Corzine.  Here are the lowlights:

  • Just one in five voters (21%) say New Jersey is on the right track.
  • Among all voters, 54% say their view of Corzine is unfavorable, while 31% say their view is favorable.
  • Only two-thirds of Democratic voters (66%) support Corzine, while one in five (20%) say they prefer Christie.
  • In contrast to Obama’s 61%-29% approval rating, Corzine’s approval stands at 36%-49%.
  • Asked which candidate is better described as “honest, trustworthy,” Christie comes out ahead by 33%-24%.
  • Asked which candidate better “understands the concerns of the average person,” Christie wins 40%-28%.

All of this bad news for Corzine comes in a poll in which Christie has his worst showing since April.

It also comes after Corzine has been relentlessly attacking Christie on his strength, his integrity, by alleging Christie engaged in unethical practices as U.S Attorney for Newark.  Those attacks have not moved Christie’s numbers very much, and they have failed to bring Corzine anywhere near comfortable territory for an incumbent.

His high negatives, low polling numbers, and voters’ lack of confidence in his leadership all point to a difficult summer for Corzine as he tries to hold on to his office.  If Christie can avoid being labeled as an acolyte of former President George W. Bush, who appointed him as U.S. Attorney, and demonstrate to voters that he has the ability to govern, Christie will likely be sitting behind the governor’s desk come next January.