A pair of polls from the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute favor the re-election chances of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and the transition of Newark Mayor Cory Booker to the national stage.

 

Christie's numbers are impressive -- even for a popular governor, says Maurice Carroll, director of the polling institute.

"Christie's a Republican governor in a Democratic state and his job approval is 74 to 21 -- with even Democrats approving 56 to 37," Carroll said Wednesday.

Potential Democratic candidates lag far behind the governor, he said.

If the Nov. 6 gubernatorial election were held today, Carroll said, Christie would beat state Sen. Richard Codey by a margin of 59 to 30; state Senate President Steve Sweeney, 61 to 25; and state Sen. Barbara Buono, 63 to 22.

Only Buono has declared her candidacy.

Meanwhile, longtime U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey could face a serious challenge from Booker in the Democratic primary next year.

Carroll says Booker, 43, leads Lautenberg, 89, in the poll by a percentage of 51 to 30.

Lautenberg has yet to announce whether he will run again for the seat he has held for almost 30 years.