Sweeney: Christie’s soaring approval ratings don’t guarantee re-election

MONROE – Pollsters and pundits may be saying Gov. Chris Christie’s re-election is all but inevitable given the soaring approval ratings he’s received for his handling of Superstorm Sandy.

But Senate president Steve Sweeney, (D-3), West Deptford, does not share that sentiment.

While he credited the governor for his strong leadership in the wake of that weather disaster, Sweeney said there’s a long time between now and the election.

“Anyone could be beaten in an election. Anyone who’s saying Chris Christie is a shoo-in (for re-election) cause his numbers are what they are, ask George (H.W.) Bush,” he said at a breakfast meeting of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce today.

The president from 1989 to 1993 lost re-election, despite enjoying very high approval ratings for his handling of the first Gulf War.

Sweeney is frequently mentioned as a possible candidate for governor, as well as the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Sen. Frank Lautenberg. The Senate president hasn’t revealed anything yet about his future plans.

“This is today. November’s a long way away,” he said.

But Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr., (R-21), Westfield was far more optimistic about what will happen with the governor and his own party.

“In brief, the governor will win, we’ll have Republican majorities in the Legislature, on both sides, all will be well in the world,” Kean said, which was met with uproarious laughter.

Sweeney responded, “were you smoking,” which was met with laughter as well.

Kean also added that Bush lost in 1992 because independent candidate Ross Perot split the vote that would likely have gone to Bush.

 

"The governor still has to come to bat."
—Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson, on Atlantic City.