NJ Gov. Christie gets first Democratic challenger

Christie is considered a possible contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, though he hasn't offered any indication of whether he'll seek out the White House four years from now.

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He did, however, leave the door open to the potential run, telling the Associated Press earlier this year that "if there's an opportunity for me to serve in another capacity, and I think I have something to add to the mix, I don't think I'd back away from it."

But Christie is well-liked in New Jersey, hitting a record-high 72-percent approval rating following his handling of Hurricane Sandy, according to one recent poll.

And another poll showed him leading every possible Democratic contender, including Buono, by double digits. Buono had the weakest showing against Christie in that poll, bringing in only 20 percent support to Christie's 60 percent support.

That poll gave Newark Mayor Cory Booker, a rising star in the Democratic Party, the strongest showing against Christie, but Booker still lagged him by 14 percentage points.

Booker did, however, indicate a willingness to launch a bid against Christie next year during an interview with HuffPost Live.

"When I go out and campaign next year for myself as a gubernatorial candidate or for another gubernatorial candidate should I decide not to run -- when I talk to crowds or to individuals advocating for whoever that candidate is, I'm not gonna do it on anything but the issues," he said.

Booker, however, might have a better chance running for Senate — he came out as the clear favorite for the seat in 2014 in another Public Policy Polling survey. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D) could retire, a prospect that 45 percent of New Jersey voters favor, and if he did 48 percent of voters would want Booker as their nominee.

In that same interview with HuffPost Live, Booker also indicated he's open to running for the Senate, regardless of whether Lautenberg chooses to resign.