It’s good to be Chris Christie these days.
Nearly three-in-four Garden State voters said they approve of the job Christie is doing, and almost eight in ten said they liked his recent tongue-lashing of House Republican leaders including Speaker John Boehner, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released on Wednesday.
Here are four key takeaways from the Q poll about Christie and the 2013 governor’s race in the state.
1) Even Democrats like Christie: Majorities of Republicans (93 percent), Democrats (56 percent), and independents (78 percent) said they approve of Christie’s job performance, and he leads all possible Democratic challengers in his race for a second term this fall by at least 29 points (!). Overall, seventy-four percent of voters said they approve of the job Christie is doing. That’s virtually unheard of. (Only New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo sports as high a number.)
2) Voters loooooved Christie’s anti-Boehner tirade: Seventy-nine percent of voters said Christie was right to blast House Republican leaders earlier this month for not moving earlier on a Hurricane Sandy relief aid package. Overall, it’s clear that the governor’s response to Sandy has been received very well: Sixty-one percent rated his reaction as excellent.
3) Christie’s popular, but his party is not: Fewer than three-in-ten Garden State voters said they hold a favorable view of the Republican Party. New Jersey remains a very Democratic state, and despite Christie’s popularity, his party’s brand is struggling there. The disconnect between Christie’s popularity and that of the GOP suggests that, at least for the moment, voters see their governor as above party.
4) There is no clear Christie alternative right now: The Democratic gubernatorial primary is wide open, with more than four-in-ten Democratic voters saying they are undecided about which candidate they would back. (The primary is set for June 4.) Potential candidate and former governor Richard Codey leads the Democratic pack Quinnipiac tested, with 28 percent of the vote.
Capital Insight analyst Scott Clement contributed to this report