08/21/2013 10:33 am ET Updated Aug 21, 2013

Chris Christie's Lead Drops In New Jersey Governor Race: Poll

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 04: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie leaves 'The Late Show with David Letterman' at Ed Sullivan The
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 04: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie leaves 'The Late Show with David Letterman' at Ed Sullivan Theater on February 4, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Donna Ward/Getty Images)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's (R) lead over Democrat Barbara Buono in his bid for reelection has dropped by 10 points, according a Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press poll released Wednesday.

Christie still leads Buono 56 to 36 percent, but that's his smallest lead in some time. Since Hurricane Sandy battered New Jersey in October of last year, he has regularly led Buono by about 30 points. In Monmouth's poll in June, Christie was winning 61 to 31 percent, while a Quinnipiac poll from earlier this month had Christie leading by 28 points.

Christie's support among Democratic voters has slipped since Monmouth's June poll. Thirty-six percent of Democrats said they supported him in June, while only 21 percent gave their support in the newest poll. Buono's support among Democrats has increased from 59 to 71 percent. She has focused this summer on a fairly progressive agenda, including hammering Christie's record on women's health and marriage equality.

However, the poll also shows that two of Buono's arguments against Christie have not been resonating with New Jersey voters. She has criticized taxpayer-funded commercials promoting Jersey Shore tourism that star Christie and his family, yet 63 percent of poll respondents said they support the commercials. Buono has also said that the governor is more focused on a potential presidential campaign than on the state, but she trails Christie 39 to 50 percent among those who believe Christie will run for president in 2016.

The new poll comes a day after Christie filed $4.13 million for state matching funds in the race, which would give him roughly $12 million for his campaign. Buono filed for matching funds based on $445,000 in donations earlier this month, which would give her about $640,000.

The poll was conducted from Aug. 15 to 18 over the phone with 777 likely voters.

CORRECTION: This story originally incorrectly stated that the poll was only conducted by Monmouth University. It is a Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press poll.



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