Christie’s lead increased by six points over the last month, as the incumbent Republican governor now holds a 59-33 edge over his opponent.
While voters generally disapprove of Christie’s performance on jobs and taxes, they still think he would do a better job than Buono, according to pollsters.
Likely voters believe Christie would do a better job on Buono on a variety of issues, including the economy and jobs (59-28) and taxes (56-30). Buono holds a 19-point edge over Christie on jobs and the economy, while 88 percent of Republicans support Christie on the same issues.
Christie holds a 68-22 lead among likely independent voters.
Buono garners 55 percent of Democratic support on taxes, compared to 27 percent for Christie. Republicans side with Christie, 84-7.
Buono’s lone advantage comes on the subject of same-sex marriage, by a 58-26 margin. Democrats and independents favor Buono by a large margin, while Christie has a one-point edge among members of his own party, 43-42.
Likely voters support Christie for his candid style, and 87 percent cite that as the reason they are more in support of him than against Buono. Thirty-eight percent of voters like his governing style while 12 percent support him for his stances on policy and 11 percent support him because they believe he’s a “man of his word” and “doesn’t pull punches.” Seven percent cited his leadership before, during and after Superstorm Sandy as the reason they support him.
About one-third of Buono’s supporters plan to vote for her rather than against Christie, according to pollsters. They prefer her on issues of education, same-sex marriage and the minimum wage, while 10 percent favor her because she’s a Democrat. Another 10 percent desire a female governor, saying she would be more responsible.
Those who are opposed to Christie are opposed to his policies on education, schools, and teachers’ union, citing his attitude on these issues.
Christie leads among nearly every demographic, including lower income households who would usually vote for a Democrat. He has a 55-38 lead in this group. His lowest margin is among the most educated voters, at 10 points. Union households support Buono, 52-43. She has a 50-41 edge among non-white voters.
Results are from a sample of 562 likely voters with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.1 percent drawn from 799 New Jersey registered voters polled statewide from Oct. 7-13, on both landlines and cell phones. The registered voter sample margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percent.