Christie: Stronger than the norm

Perhaps the blue pullover that's become a post-Sandy signature for Chris Christie is made of Teflon rather than fleece.

The latest Farleigh Dickinson University "Public Mind" poll shows the Republican governor maintaining his high popularity despite a significant and recent decline in the number of New Jerseyans who like their state's trajectory.

The respected polling organization found an eight-point drop -- from 57 to 49 -- in the percentage of all residents who believe the Garden State is "headed in the right direction." The percentage also fell among Republicans,  although a majority still feel positively about where New Jersey is headed.

As for the governor, who is running for a second term amid speculation he will be a 2016 presidential candidate,  his 58 percent approval rating is virtually unchanged since June.

"For the first time in a long time, we have a leader who doesn't make us feel like we need to take a shower after every press conference," says conservative blogger Matt Rooney, a Haddon Heights attorney who writes at

"To the average Garden State voter, Governor Christie is genuine if nothing else," Rooney adds. "I think that counts for a heck of a lot in an age when voters are increasingly cynical and convinced that there's no significant difference between the major parties."

Not surprisingly, Christie's Democratic opponent, state Sen.Barbara Buono, has a different take on the numbers.

"It's no surprise that New Jerseyans believe the state is going in the wrong direction when you look at the consequences of Governor Christie's policies," campaign spokesman David Turner says, adding, "400,000 people are still looking for work, property taxes have increased 20 percent and he is wildly out of touch when it comes to reducing gun violence and marriage equality."


--Kevin Riordan