NJ Republicans Hope To Ride Governor Christie’s Coattails [AUDIO]
If Governor Chris Christie continues to be very popular with New Jersey voters, it could change the balance of power in Trenton later this year.
With the Governor's approval numbers still spiking, "There could be some potential black clouds for democrats in the Legislature, in some seats that weren't considered vulnerable before," said Patrick Murray, Director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.
Murray points out he was one of those who said the map they came up with for re-districting back in 2011 was a lock for democrats.
"None of us ever considered the possibility that a Republican Governor could win by 20 points or potentially more- and that's what we're looking at right now."
He says the current situation is shaky for Jersey Democrats because if presumptive gubernatorial nominee Barbara Buono is way behind in the polls come the fall, then State Senators and Assembly representatives, who are all up for re-election this year, will have to adopt a more aggressive attitude in their local races.
"We're going to see a lot of money being raised by individual members of the Legislature that they will spend in their districts," says Murray, "instead of sending the money to other areas."
Murray believes if the Governor did not have such high approval numbers, then we'd probably only see two or three competitive Legislative races, but at this point there are five to 10.
Life Gets Easier For GOP Candidates
He also points out Republicans lawmakers will be free to spend any money they raise themselves, without having to support Governor Christie's re-election bid because Christie, as a rising star in the GOP nationally, is raising millions of dollars on his own- and can probably help to financially support the campaigns of other Republican candidates.
"There is a real possibility with a big win by Chris Christie," says Murray, "that those coattails could be big enough to sweep in maybe 5 republican Senators, enough to take control of, at least the Senate, if not both the Senate and Assembly."