New Jersey voters split on Christie as president

New Jersey voters are divided over whether Gov. Chris Christie (R) would make a good president, even as he seems poised to win a second term as governor. 

The Quinnipaic University Polling Center survey found New Jerseyans enthusiastic about the prospect Christie will make a White House bid in 2016. Forty-eight percent of likely voters said they wanted Christie to run, compared to 41 percent who said he shouldn't. 

But there was no consensus on how he'd perform in the nation's top job. Forty-two percent said Christie would make a good president, compared to 43 percent who said he would not - a statistical tie.  

Only 19 percent of Democrats thought Christie would be a good president, while only 17 percent of Republicans were convinced he would not thrive as president.

Christie is seeking a second term as governor in off-year elections on Nov. 5. He is facing Democratic state Sen. Barbara Buono. 

The Quinnipiac poll found Christie with 64 percent support, compared to 31 percent for Buono. 

Christie’s march towards an easy reelection in a Democratic state has fueled speculation that Christie is laying the groundwork to enter the Republican primary race in 2015.

His possible presidential aspirations have also been a source of frequent debate during the governor's race. Buono sought to use his potential ambitions as a weapon against him in her first television ad of the campaign, earlier this month. 

“Chris Christie’s got his sights set on the Republican presidential primary,” Buono said. “He wants to be president. I want to be your governor.” 

When questioned at a debate in early October, Christie stated he “can walk and chew gum at the same time” and so voters do not have to worry about him being distracted from running the state government.

Christie himself has refused to confirm presidential plans, but has also avoided committing to serving a full four years if he wins reelection.

“My intention is to spend four years, but we’ll see what happens,” he said in an appearance Tuesday morning on "Good Morning America." 

“You never know what life’s gonna bring you.”

The Quinnipiac poll was conducted from October 21-27 among 1,203 New Jersey likely voters. It has a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percentage points.

It found 71 percent of Republicans favored a Christie run, with 21 percent opposed. Democrats opposed a Christie run 63 percent to 28 percent.