POLITICS
10/16/2012 02:45 pm ET

Chris Christie: Joe Kyrillos Will Win New Jersey Senate Race Because He Is 'More Popular Than Mitt Romney'

At the local level, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie appears to have more stock in GOP Senate candidate Joe Kyrillos than GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney.

Christie spent Monday evening campaigning for Kyrillos in West Windsor, N.J., hoping to even out a U.S. Senate race that has polls showing a lopsided advantage for incumbent Democrat Robert Menendez. Those figures aside, the governor expressed no reserve, telling the Newark Star-Ledger that Kyrillos is "going to win."

When asked why he's securely behind that notion, Christie injected Romney's name into the equation.

“Because Joe’s more popular than Mitt Romney in New Jersey," Christie told the paper. "It’s that simple."

Kyrillos has been in New Jersey politics for nearly 25 years, serving in the state's 13th district as a general assembly member (1988-1992) and a state senator (1992-present). He has been one of Christie's strongest allies since the governor assumed office in 2010. As of Monday, Oct. 8, HuffPost Pollster's 23-poll compilation shows Menendez holding a 14-point lead in the race.

Christie's assertion regarding Romney's standing in New Jersey also parallels poll figures. Charts as of Monday, Oct. 15 show President Barack Obama holding an 11-point edge in the Garden State.

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