Christie takes gloves off despite big lead

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has a commanding lead over Democratic challenger Barbara Buono according to the polls.  Despite that, his latest TV ad goes on the attack.

The 30-second aid is airing in the Philadelphia and New York City markets and on New Jersey cable stations.

“Buono raised her own pay 40 percent then raised our taxes,” said the ad’s narrator.

The ad does not mention that the pay raise Buono voted for enjoyed bipartisan support.

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Montclair State political science professor Brigid Harrison understands why the Christie campaign is airing an attack ad even though he has a 20-point lead in the polls.

“That lead is down from where it was a month or even two months ago,” said Harrison. “So I think this is just kind of a little bit of an insurance policy. “

Rider University political science professor Ben Dworkin says Buono does not have the campaign funds to effectively counter the ad.

“Millions of dollars have to be spent just top reach the entire state from Cape May to Mahwah, and the governor has those resources,” Dworkin said. “Barbara Buono doesn’t.”

Dworkin says negative ads could be effective in helping Christie maintain his big lead, by getting to voters first.

“Christie has to go negative because he needs to define the opponent. Barbara Buono is not well known, but what people know about her Christie wants people to learn from him, not from her.”

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