Poll: No Favorite Yet in NJ’s 2017 Gubernatorial Election
Whether Gov. Chris Christie leaves office to run for president or leaves when his term expires, New Jersey will need a new chief executive. But New Jerseyans are mixed on who that person should be.
A Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) PublicMind poll released Monday asked registered Republican and Democratic voters who they thought should represent their party in the next gubernatorial election. The results revealed the field is wide open on both sides of the political aisle.
"When asked who they'd like to see as their nominee a full three-quarters, or 74 percent of Republicans say they have no idea - with the remainder divided between Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno with 12 percent support, 'someone else' with 11 percent and Assembly GOP Leader Jon Bramnick with 4 percent," said Krista Jenkins, director of PublicMind and professor of political science at FDU.
Fewer are undecided on the Democratic side, but there isn't one candidate that is being overwhelming embraced.
"Fifty-five percent (of Democrats) are currently uncertain with former governor and current State Sen. Dick Codey coming out on top with 27 percent support. Behind him is Senate President Steve Sweeney at 9 percent, 'someone else' at 6 percent and Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop at 3 percent," Jenkins said.
Codey's strong numbers, according to Jenkins, are probably due to his long history in New Jersey politics.
A 2017 governor's race is still a long way off, and it is possible that a successor to Christie is something that just isn't on most people's radar, according to Jenkins.
"The takeaway from these numbers is both Republicans and Democrats will have to determine how to define New Jersey's future in the post-Christie years and who ends up carrying that mantle into the future for either side is, as of yet, undistinguished," Jenkins said.