Christie has been considered a shoo-in all along, that's why Barbara Buono became the sacrificial lamb thrown into the race. The better known Democrat politicians all declined to run against him.
Even Cory Booker -- who has favorable ratings nearly as high as Christie -- wasn't brave enough to take Christie on, saying he had promised to finish out his term as Newark's mayor.
That promise lasted exactly as long as Frank Lautenberg lasted -- Booker immediately threw his hat into the ring.
“Even Cory Booker — who has favorable ratings nearly as high as Christie — wasn’t brave enough to take Christie on, saying he had promised to finish out his term as Newark’s mayor.”
Cory Booker would have never come close to beating Christie; the Repubs represent the taxpayers here, and there aren’t enough welfare parasites and teachers in NJ to put Booker over the top. Booker said he would run for Lautenberg’s seat while Lautenberg was still in it (and hadn’t announced he wasn’t running for re-election); I believe that is why Lautenberg’s family is supporting Pallone.
Don’t be too sure. 7000 SEIU members, spread out over 74 different facilities, can assist a whole bunch of elderly, comatose, mentally weak, dementia patients to fill out their ballots for the (D). They have already shown that they understand how to do it, and are willing to do it. Estimate 200 patients per, times 74 facilities, plus the 7000 union members and you have a nice block of votes locked up before the campaign even starts.
I’ve long suspected that Booker and Christie had made a back-room deal a while back. Booker wouldn’t challenge Christie in the 2013 governor’s race, and Christie will maintain a very low profile in Booker’s 2014 Senate race (which is now a 2013 Senate race, due to Lautenberg’s demise).