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Chris Christie Maintains Commanding Lead in Governor’s Race [AUDIO]

The lead for Gov. Chris Christie over his Democratic Gubernatorial challenger, State Sen. Barbara Buono remains significant, but likely N.J. voters are not impressed with the substance of either candidate’s campaign.

Michael Loccisano, Getty Images
Michael Loccisano, Getty Images

The latest Monmouth University-Asbury Park Press poll of likely Garden State voters is out today.

“Christie has a 56 percent to 37 percent lead over Barbara Buono, a 19-point lead,” says Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. “Eight-in-ten voters say they’ve made up their minds. They won’t change their minds. They know exactly who they’re going to vote for Nov. 5…….The outcome of this election is not in doubt in terms of who’s going to win. The only thing we’re wondering about is what that final margin will look like.”

Independent voters give the incumbent 2-to-1 support in his re-election bid – 60 percent for Christie to 30 percent for Buono. Christie can claim 50 percent of likely voters who support him and say they will not change their mind before Nov. 5. Buono gets firm support from just 33 percent of likely voters.

Only 34 percent say that this year’s campaign for governor has done a good job talking about the most important issues affecting New Jersey. More voters (42 percent) say it has done a bad job.

“Voters are not really impressed with the substance of this campaign,” concludes Murray. “Because of this, we are unlikely to see dancing in the streets of New Jersey on Nov. 5, regardless of the outcome.”

If Christie is re-elected, 16% say they’d feel excited and 34 percent would feel optimistic. Fewer than 4-in-10 take a negative view, with 24 percent saying they would be concerned and 13 percent who would be scared. Less than 4-in-10 would feel either excited (8 percent) or optimistic (28 percent) if Buono won. About half would feel either concerned (28 percent) or scared (21 percent).

The majority of likely voters (55 percent) continue to have a favorable opinion of Christie, while just 35 percent hold an unfavorable view. Buono is becoming better known to voters, but that’s not exactly good news for her in this survey. Those unable to offer an opinion of the Democratic nominee dropped from nearly half in August to one-third.

The increase in her awareness has been more negative than positive. Buono’s favorable rating stands at 32 percent, up 5 points since August, but her negative rating is 35 percent, which is up 10 points since August.

Very few Garden State voters have an opinion of either major party candidate for the Lt. Gov. position. Just 3-in-10 have any opinion of Christie’s running mate Kim Guadagno and she has held the office through his first term. Just 16 percent have a favorable opinion of the incumbent compared to 14 percent who have an unfavorable one.

Only 1-in-10 likely voters have an opinion of Buono’s running mate, labor leader Milly Silva. Five percent have a favorable opinion of her and 6 percent hold an unfavorable view.

The poll was conducted by telephone from September 26 to 29, 2013 with 615 New Jersey voters likely to vote in the November general election. This sample has a margin of error of + 4.0 percent.

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