Today came word from the state that both the gov and his challenger, state Sen. Barbara Buono, have qualified for another round of public matching dollars. But Christie qualified for more than Buono, bringing his war chest to $12.4 million...compared to Buono's $1.3 million. That's nearly a 10-to-1 fundraising advantage.
So what does that mean, in practical terms? It means Christie can bombard the airwaves with attack ads, as he did today (see below), trashing Buono before she has the money to go on TV, introduce herself to voters and counter his on-air offensive. Buono released another web-only ad today, here, but the YouTube numbers indicate very few people are watching these.
The lack of money means that although the Christie ad hits Buono for voting for "154 tax increases," Buono can't broadcast that some increases were really just fees to cover government paperwork costs for licensing auto body repair shops and home inspectors. She can't broadcast that many came with near-unanimous support from both Democrats and Republicans. She can't broadcast that one vote increased penalties for violating the state construction code.
The ad also says that Buono voted to give herself a pay raise. That's true, says Capitol Quickies. But Buono, if she could, would tell TV audiences that the 2000 law was sponsored by a Republican senator and signed by a Republican governor.
Meanwhile, a new Rutgers Eagleton poll out today shows Christie with a big lead -- 20 points -- that has only slightly diminished in recent months. Some notable numbers: 68 percent of Buono supporters expect her to lose, 60 percent of Buono supporters are mostly motivated by not liking Christie, and the governor has a 12 percent advantage among women.