Rasmussen: Chris Christie, Mitt Romney Give Barack Obama Early Ride in N.J.

Let's look at Democratic-leaning New Jersey, says Rasmussen Reports, home state of the next bright light in the GOP galaxy of presidential possibilities -- Chris Christie.

Here's what Rasmussen found: Both Christie and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney are within single digits of President Barack Obama in hypothetical 2012 election match-ups. Believe it or not.

A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely New Jersey voters finds Obama capturing 49 percent of the vote, while Christie earns 44 percent. Five percent prefer somebody else, and 3 percent are undecided.

Nationally among all likely voters, the president holds just a 7-point lead -- 43 percent to 35 percent -- over the first-term Republican governor.

Christie, nevertheless, still insists he is not seeking the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. But one of those who is, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, also runs a competitive race against the president, with Obama leading Romney 49 percent to 43 percent.

Take this early polling for the 2012 election with a grain of salt, notes Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports. “If the economy improves dramatically over the next year and a half, the president will be virtually impossible to beat. However," he says, "if there is a double-dip recession, it will be hard for the Republicans to lose. If the economy shows little substantive change, the race could be very competitive.”
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