According to the latest Quinnipiac University poll, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie owes some of his popularity on the gubernatorial campaign trail to Democratic voters.
The latest numbers from the independent poll show that even strongly Democratic areas of New Jersey remain closely divided between the incumbent Republican governor and his Democratic opponent, State Sen. Barbara Buono. In these areas, Buono just barely leads Christie with a 43 to 42 percent approval rating. Christie dominates every other area of the state, including the Jersey Shore, where his approval is 67 percent to Buono's 27, as well as in suburban areas, where the Republican polls at 56 percent against 33 percent for the Republican.
"The big election is still the race between Gov. Christopher Christie and State Sen. Barbara Buono, and the governor's 2-1 lead remains undented after months of polling," Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a statement.
Christie's runaway success creates problems for Buono, who garners a less-than-stellar approval rating of 57 percent within her own party. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Christie is strongly backed by New Jersey Republicans with a 91 percent approval rating, all the while gaining traction among Democrats, 30 percent of whom are reported to support his campaign.
"Sen. Buono is down 3-1 among independent voters and even loses 30 percent of Democratic voters to Christie. There's no point even counting Republicans," Carroll said.
Overall, Christie has the lead in total approval among registered voters in the Garden State, with 58 percent supporting his re-election over Buono's 30 percent. Additionally, Christie maintains a substantial lead over Buono among both men and women, but is slightly more favored by men, polling at 62 and 56 percent, respectively.
Although the governor's wide appeal to voters in all camps could benefit him in the long run should he consider a 2016 presidential run, a demographic breakdown shows a few small cracks in Christie's path.
While Christie leads among white voters 66 to 25 percent, black voters favor Buono 54 percent to Christie's 25 percent. Hispanic voters are closely divided between the two candidates, with 43 percent favoring Buono and 41 percent for Christie.
Earlier this month, another Quinnipiac poll listed Christie as one of the "hottest" politicians in the country, with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton coming in as a close second.