Bucking GOP trend, Christie has most non-white support

Gov. Chris Christie holds a news conference at the Metropolitan Family Health Network in Jersey City, N.J., on Monday, March 4, 2013, where he touted his decision to expand Medicaid as part of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. (AP Photo/The Jersey Journal, Reena Rose Sibayan)

New Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll out this morning, and get a load of this number: 56 percent of non-whites approve of the job that Gov. Christie is doing.

This is not remarkable in the long scheme of things -- Republican Gov. Tom Kean had huge non-white support in the 1980s, and he even won heavily minority communities like Camden. But in 2013, at a time when the Republican party has grown whiter even as the nation has become less white, this number is extraordinary.

Republican Mitt Romney won just 20 percent of the non-white vote against President Obama. In 2009, Christie got just 9 percent of the African American vote and 32 percent of the Hispanic vote in his election victory over Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine.

“Although the state is facing a different set of challenges than it was four years ago, it’s worth noting how capable the governor appears to be in transcending partisanship in a Democratic leaning state,” said Krista Jenkins, director of the PublicMind poll.

Christie continues to have non-traditional support in his quest to defeat Democratic challenger Sen. Barbara Buono from Middlesex County. A majority of Democrats (55 percent), independents (61 percent), union households (52 percent) and women (62 percent) support the governor, according to the poll.

In a head-to-head match-up against Buono, the poll finds, Christie wins 58 to 22 percent.

But it's not all bad news for Buono. Christie's popularity appears to have come back down to earth after his record-high post-Sandy popularity of 77 percent in November. In January, the poll put him at 73 percent. 

Interestingly, Christie is in minority-heavy Paterson today for a town hall meeting. Corzine beat Christie there 17,334 to 2,213. That's called a blow-out. Here's a primer on the history of race relations in Paterson, courtesy of Bob Dylan: