As the 2013 NJ Gubernatorial race begins, state Senator Richard Codey has decided not to run. That means Barbara Buono, another state Senator who has already announced her candidacy, has boosted her chances of winning the Democratic nomination, but not the race. Who in their right mind is banking on a Democrat beating Chris Christie now that Corey Booker, Democratic mayor of Newark, has opted to run for the U.S. Senate in 2014?
Furthermore, NJ Democrats are scrambling to find an alternative to Buono, which is interesting given the liberal pandering to women in the 2012 elections, which was codified around three words: War on Women. It seems in the Garden State, the liberal elites aren’t too happy with their female pick to take on Christie. Huffington Post’s John Celock wrote about the Democratic chaos today.
New Jersey Democratic leaders have been frantically searching for an alternative to Buono, who has trailed Christie in the polls and in fundraising. Codey was considered an attractive alternative given his high approval ratings during his 14-month stint as governor following Gov. Jim McGreevey’s (D) resignation in 2004. State Sen. Ray Lesniak (D-Elizabeth) publicly pushed Codey for governor calling him New Jersey’s “Obi Wan Kenobi.”
After Codey’s decision, several Democrats jumped to Buono’s side. Democratic leaders from Sussex and Ocean counties backed the former Senate majority leader, while PolitickerNJ.com reported that Rep. Frank Pallone (D) is planning to endorse her. Buono already has gathered backing from party leaders in Monmouth, Middlesex and Somerset counties.
Buono’s candidacy received support from powerful south Jersey Democratic leader George Norcross and Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo (D), providing major boosts to her candidacy.But the Star-Ledger reported that some Democrats including Lesniakcontinue to search for an alternative. State Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-West Deptford), who has feuded with Buono, continued to float his name for governor but his candidacy was dealt a blow when Norcross, his top ally, publicly praised Buono.
As PJ’s Bridget Johnson wrote on January 23:
The Quinnipiac University poll finds Christie, with a 74 percent approval rating, tied with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) as most popular out of all states surveyed.Seventy-nine percent responded that Christie was right to criticize congressional Republicans for delaying a vote on Hurricane Sandy relief. Seventy percent of Republicans polled felt that way.
Christie’s approval is 93-4 percent among Republicans, 56-37 percent among Democrats and 78-18 percent among independent voters. Men approve 79-18 percent while women approve 69-24 percent.
The governor deserves reelection, voters say 68 – 24 percent, with Democrats at 47 – 43 percent. Christie leads possible Democratic challengers by margins of 2-1 or higher; in hypothetical matchups, Christie takes 30 to 35 percent of the Democratic vote.
The poll also had Christie beating Buono 63%-22%.
It’s good to be Governor Christie. He’s cruising his way to re-election, and dominating any would-be liberal foe in the polls. Let’s face it, the NJ Democrats have got nothing.