Heading into last night's Gubernatorial debate, challenger Barbara Buono was way behind in all of the recent polls, so she needed to try and do something to jump-start her campaign.

Barbara Buono at gubernatorial debate at William Paterson University (Facebook)

"If people were looking for her to hold her own against the Governor, I think she certainly did that, and so to that extent, she likely helped herself. But it is a very uphill battle for her with the sizable deficit she has in the poll numbers," says the Director of the FDU PublicMind poll, Krista Jenkins.

She says during the debate Buono did what she had to do, and went on the offensive - trying to attack Christie on the issues of property taxes and jobs. But, one of the things Christie did well was tie Buono to her legislative record.

At one point, Buono told Christie to "man up" and take responsibility for the economic condition of the Garden State.

"That was effective," says Jenkins. "This was her moment to say you can't continue to pass blame on others, when you are in that office, you have to be the one to take ultimate responsibility for things like that."

As for where Buono goes from here in her campaign, Jenkins says all the attention will shift to the Governor's race once the Special U.S. Senate race wraps up next week, so Buono needs to go after the Governor on issues where she feels he's weak.

"We may see some improvement in her poll numbers," says Jenkins, "but it's hard to speculate and know how many people were actually paying attention to the debate."