Inside the Beltway: The campaign never stops

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Once, a straightforward New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie warned citizens to “get the hell off the beach” while fending off demands from charmed Republicans that he run for president. Now, Mr. Christie is a political hybrid who attracts unexpected demographics, likely due to a certain chumminess he’s cultivated with the White House in the Sandy aftermath.

“Chris Christie is now more popular with Democrats nationally than he is with Republicans,” says Tom Jensen, director of Public Policy Polling, who points out that Mr. Christie enjoys an overall 51 percent approval rating. He gets a thumbs up from 52 percent of Democrats and 48 percent of Republicans.

“Compared to a month ago, he’s up a net 12 points with Democrats and down a net 11 points with Republicans,” Mr. Jensen says.

Three fourths of New Jersey voters in a Fairleigh Dickinson University approve of the job Mr. Christie is doing as governor, in the meantime.

“Governor Christie’s strong public support extends across virtually all demographic groups, including Democrats (62 percent), non-whites (69 percent), women (70 percent), and those who reside in public employee households (62 percent). These are groups who have historically proven a tough sell for Republican governors,” the poll says.

Poll du jour

• 82 percent of Americans say there is “strong conflict” between Republicans and Democrats; 83 percent of Republicans and 83 percent of Democrats agree.

• 58 percent overall say there is conflict between “poor people and rich people”; 49 percent of Republicans and 64 percent of Democrats agree.

• 55 percent say there are strong conflicts between “immigrants and people born in the U.S.”; 57 percent of Republicans and 66 percent of Democrats agree.

• 39 percent say there is strong conflict between “blacks and whites”; 34 percent of whites and 54 percent of blacks agree.

• 29 percent say there is strong conflict between “young people and older people”; 30 percent of those younger than 30 and 29 percent of those older than 65 agree.

Source: Pew Research Center poll of 2,511 U.S. adults conducted Nov. 28 to Dec. 5 and released Thursday.

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