Superstorm Sandy has improved the future prospects of at least one New Jerseyan –Gov. Chris Christie — who has seen his re-election prospects soar to 59 percent supporting a second term and only 32 percent opposing his reelection, according to a recent Rutgers Eagleton poll. In September, only 44 percent favored his reelection and 47 percent opposed it.
The survey also asked voters to choose a favorite when pitted against specific, opponents. Newark Mayor Cory Booker performed best but still lost out to Christie 34 percent to 53 percent. Others mentioned in queries: former Gov. and state Sen. Richard Codey (losing 31 percent to Christie’s 56 percent),; State Sen. Barbara Buono (losing 22 percent to Christie’s 60 percent); Assemblyman Lou Greenwald (21 percent to Christie’s 60 percent); and former Democratic state chair Tom Byrne (22 percent to 58 percent for Christie).
David Redlawsk, director of the Rutgers-Eagleton poll, credited Christie’s high marks to the fact that voters got a good impression of him during the storm. His favorability rating in the poll now stands at 67 percent, up 19 points from before Sandy. Indeed, this is the first time his favorability rating has been more than 50 percent since 2010. Christie’s unfavorability rating dropped to 26 percent, the first time it’s been lower than 37 percent. His high marks in favorability were across racial, regional, age, and income levels. Even Democrats gave him a 49 percent approval rating.