Governor Christie appears increasingly vulnerable in his re-election bid for a second term. A just-released Quinnipiac poll indicates, Chris Christie has been touted as a rising star in the Republican Party. But even giving the keynote speech at last week’s party convention in Florida hasn’t lifted his approval rating back home. A Rutgers-Eagleton poll, already written about in Blue Jersey here indicated, 47 percent of respondents said they’re ready to re-elect him and 46 percent said it’s time for someone new.
On the other hand NJ Democrats are far from united as to their choice for a gubernatorial candidate. Several candidates are clearly interested. Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Elizabeth Mayor Chris Bollwage, former Majority Leader and now Senator Barbara Buono (D-18), former Governor and now Senator Richard Codey (D-27), Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) and N.J. State Democratic Committee Chair and Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-19) are among those mentioned. NJSpotlight writes, While most of the state’s leading Democratic figures were in Charlotte, Sen. Dick Codey brought them thumping back to earth — some say reality — with his comment on the condition of the party in New Jersey: “We’ve got to stop letting party bosses dictate our agenda and enabling Mr. Christie, when he’s wrong, to succeed.”
It may well be that we will not have a clear candidate until after the primary. However, the more protracted and divisive the competition, the more difficult it may be to heal the wounds and achieve victory in November 2013. For me it’s important to reduce party boss influence and to nominate a progressive. While we need not rush to a decision, having a candidate sooner is better than later. Governor Christie may be vulnerable but he is also formidable. Furthermore, he is already in campaign mode. As President Obama has said, “Let’s not make the perfect the enemy of the absolutely necessary.” Defeating Christie is what is “absolutely necessary.”