New Jersey Governor Chris Christie earned such high praise for his leadership during Hurricane Sandy that his re-election has never looked like more of a lock, leaving his contenders far behind, even this far out. But a new fantasy poll — albeit a very legitimate one — says Christie could also beat Bruce Springsteen, the state's beloved bard and the governor's own personal hero.
The data from Public Policy Polling pegs Christie as the country's most popular governor, with a 67 percent approval rating — down slightly from other polls earlier in the week, when he filed re-election papers. Only 9 percent of those polled said that they disapproved of how Christie handled the hurricane. And if voters were to enter election booths today, Christie would beat the Democratic favorite, Newark mayor Cory Booker, by 50-36 percent. When hypothetically pitted against New Jersey state senators Steve Sweeney and Barbara Buono, Christie actually wins a majority of the Democratic vote. Pollster Tom Jensen writes, "I don't think PPP has ever found a candidate in any contest we've ever polled doing across party lines."
But the most surprising stat here has Christie trouncing Bruce Springsteen, long thought to be New Jersey's favorite native son:
We threw Bruce Springsteen into the poll just for fun and despite a 54/23 favorability rating even he trails Christie by a 61/25 margin in a hypothetical match up.
But could Christie stomach going head-to-head against his personal hero? As the article by The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg revealed back in July, Christie has been to 129 Springsteen concerts, calling him "a guy I’ve idolized since I was 13 years old." Springsteen had long snubbed the Republican governor though, disapproving of his approach to unions and public programs. Christie's love was finally requited earlier this month when Springsteen publicly acknowledged his handling of Sandy, calling the governor personally with a pat on the back, by way of a hook-up from his allegedly new pal Barack Obama. Would Christie really endanger that fragile new friendship by running against Springsteen? No. Because, come on — the Boss won't be running for governor anytime soon. We're pretty sure, at least.