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Working on a dream race: Chris Christie vs. Bruce Springsteen

July 20, 2011|By James Oliphant | Washington Bureau
(Jo Lopez )

Reporting from Washington — Has New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie already seen his “Glory Days?”

According to a new poll by Public Policy Polling, a Democratic-leaning firm, the man who has become a Republican rock star nationally could face some troubles at home. The poll showed that Christie’s approval rating in New Jersey has sunk to 43%, a 10-point drop since the beginning of the year.

The PPP poll shows that Christie has particularly lost support among independents, a bloc crucial in a state where Republicans need such swing voters to win statewide. And the poll shows Christie losing in a hypothetical 2013 reelection match-up with Newark Mayor Cory Booker, a Democratic rising star.

The more intriguing race is a fantasy showdown between Christie and one of his biggest critics, the real, nonmetaphorical rock star, Bruce Springsteen.

According to PPP, the Freehold, N.J., native would start off any race tied at 42% with Christie, but with room to grow among Democratic voters.

Unlike Christie, Springsteen’s favorability numbers stand at 50%, with Democrats unsurprisingly thinking more highly of the performer than Republicans. Unlike Springsteen, Christie has actually run a state and succeeded in politics.

In March, Springsteen, who now lives in Colts Neck, wrote a letter to a local newspaper criticizing Christie’s state budget cuts.

"The article is one of the few that highlights the contradictions between a policy of large tax cuts, on the one hand, and cuts in services to those in the most dire conditions, on the other," Springsteen wrote to the editors of the Asbury Park Press. "The cuts are eating away at the lower edges of the middle class, not just those already classified as in poverty, and are likely to continue to get worse over the next few years."

The governor is a die-hard Springsteen fan who has said that he’s seen the Boss play more than 120 times.

Christie has continued to resist calls that he run for president. On Tuesday, he reiterated his disinterest to a group of prominent donors in Manhattan. Politico’s Mike Allen reported that Christie listed his family and his desire to stay to finish his first term in New Jersey as the two biggest reasons for not getting in.

PPP surveyed 480 New Jersey voters from July 15-18. The margin of error for the
survey is plus or minus 4.5%.

Springsteen’s songs have been adopted/co-opted by presidential aspirants from Ronald Reagan to John Kerry, but we think that if Bruce actually did enter politics, some of the items from his catalog would have to be reworked in light of the modern climate. Here are some possibilities:

Meet Me at a Fundraiser Tonight in Atlantic City

Because the Night is Better for Cable-news Ratings

Born to Run if Booker Doesn’t Get In

That Mansion on the Hill isn’t Mine

Fox News Channel Freeze-Out

The Price You Pay Also Helps Support the DNC

The Ghost of Tom Kean

You Can Look, But You Better Not Touch Because Security Will Beat You Senseless

The Rising, but What Do the Cross Tabs Say About White Men, Ages 36-54?

I’ve Never Met That Jersey Girl

My Hometown is Whatever Town I’m in Today

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