Is Chris Christie Vulnerable In 2013? [AUDIO]
In politics things can change in a heartbeat and they often do, but at this moment in time Governor Chris Christie is riding absurdly high in the polls.
Christie is getting major kudos for his handling of super-storm Sandy and surveys released in the storm's aftermath have the Governor enjoying all-time high approval ratings.
Fairleigh Dickinson University political science professor Peter Woolley says Christie isn't invincible, in fact he may have some vulnerabilities heading into next year's re-election run.
What Happens When Budget Season Starts?
"Once the budget season starts I think you're going to find Christie has some vulnerabilities," explains Woolley. "If revenues continue to deteriorate for the State there's going to be some serious budget cutting going on. Another thing is, a lot of towns that were hard hit by Sandy are going to find themselves in the awkward position of having to raise property taxes. If people become very dissatisfied about spikes in their property tax rates, that's another point of vulnerability for the Governor."
Woolley thinks any Democrat that wants to run against Christie next year should make their candidacy announcement before the budget season so any fiscal difficulties that may arise can be used against the incumbent.
"The Governor is also unlikely to get his tax cut," says Woolley. "Revenues are likely to deteriorate and that's likely to be a vulnerability for the Governor and it's likely as always in New Jersey to be the point of attack. Revenues and taxes are the stuff ultimately of New Jersey gubernatorial elections."
In the latest poll released last week, Christie gets a 67% approve to 21% disapprove job rating among all Garden State residents. With the all-important registered voters, his rating stands at 69% approve to 22% disapprove. In September, his job approval rating was in the mid-50s for both groups.
The 85% of Republicans who give the Governor a "thumbs up" are joined by 68% of independents and 57% of Democrats. Before to this survey, Christie had never broken the 40%-mark among Garden State Democrats. The no evidence of a gender gap which was apparent in past polls - 68% of men and 66% of women approve of the governor's job performance. Christie also gets positive ratings from a majority (52%) of public worker households - the first time this has happened during his tenure.