Bruce Springsteen may be the only person who could beat Barack Obama in a presidential matchup in New Jersey.
In a new PPP survey of the Garden State, the President crushes every Republican candidate polled against him, including the state’s relatively popular Governor, Chris Christie. Obama led his challengers by an average of almost 20 points, with his most comfortable race coming against Sarah Palin, whom he led by 30 points.
Mitt Romney fared best–er, least poorly–among the GOP contenders, trailing Obama by 15 points, 52% to 37%. Obama held a 17-point margin against three other challengers–Mike Huckabee (53%-36%), Newt Gingrich (54%-37%), and Chris Christie (55%-38%). Against Sarah Palin, Obama held an even wider 59% to 29% lead.Christie is in his first term at New Jersey’s helm, and his brash governing style and populist rhetoric have led some to wonder whether he would be a strong, fresh candidate for the GOP to run behind in 2012. Yet Christie has declared that he will not seek the party’s presidential nomination, and though he remains popular in his home state–48% of respondents said they approved of his job performance, versus 45% who said they disapproved–the poll indicates that his constituents aren’t ready to give him control of the federal government.
New Jersey, a deep blue state, gave Obama his fourth highest approval rating of the 37 states PPP has polled in the past year. A 51% majority of respondents said they approved of the job Obama is doing as president, compared to 43% who said they disapproved.
Obama carried New Jersey by 15 points in 2008 to claim the state’s 14 electoral votes. Due to reapportionment caused by the 2010 census, the state will have one less electoral vote next time around.
The PPP poll was conducted January 6-9 among 520 New Jersey voters. It has a margin of error of 4.3%.