The Washington Times - November 5, 2013, 07:26AM

A Democratic challenger who has little chance of upsetting New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said late Monday the high-profile incumbent tried to confuse voters by holding a special election to fill a vacant U.S. Senate seat three weeks before the gubernatorial contest, the Newark Star-Ledger reported.

Barbara Buono, who trails Mr. Christie by 20 to 36 points in the polls, told fellow Democrats she is “focused on the issues and getting people out to the polls” after an Oct. 16 election brought out Democrats in force to elect former Newark Mayor Cory Booker to take over for late Sen. Frank Lautenberg.

SEE RELATED: Christie’s victory could transform national Republican Party

“We really have had this 20-day sprint to Nov. 5 to make sure people know that, yes, there’s another election and people are engaged and they’re excited,” Buono said, the Star-Ledger reported. “We have to make sure that people aren’t confused because this governor wants people to think it is over, and it’s barely begun.”

Mr. Christie is expected to cruise to victory Tuesday, and a wide margin of victory could set the table for a presidential run in 2016.

Political observers say his toughest task may be convincing GOP primary voters in the South and Midwest that a state leader from the Northeast offers the party’s best chance to retake the White House.