In a poll by Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press that was released on Monday, New Jersey Governor saw his approval and favorability ratings in take a nosedive in the wake of Bridgegate and other political scandals. For the first time post-Sandy, Christie saw his job approval rating in the state dip below 60%. Among registered voters, 58% approve of the way Christie is handling his job. While typically that is a good approval rating that any political figure would like to have, just one month ago Christie’s approval rating stood at 65%.
New Jersey Republicans are sticking by the governor, as he actually saw an increase from them. Last month 85% approved of his job performance. The latest poll saw it increase to 89%. However, independents and Democrats started rejecting Christie. The governor saw support among independents fall by 11% and Democrats dropped by 9%.
Where you see a big change is how favorable a view New Jerseyians have of Chris Christie in light of these events. After Superstorm Sandy, Christie saw his favorability rating go up to 70%. In the latest poll, that has tumbled all the way down to 44%. Only 24% of Democrats have a favorable view of him and 44% of independents. It appears that Christie is losing that so-called bipartisan support he enjoyed in the state for the past couple of years.
Another interesting part from this poll is that people were asked if Christie had the right temperament to be President. When the question was last asked in September 2013, when Christie’s Presidential ambitions were becoming more and more clear, 34% felt that he did not have the right temperament. In the latest poll, there was an increase of 15 points, as nearly half (49%) feel he is too hot-tempered to sit in the Oval Office.
An increasing amount of New Jersey residents also feel that Christie is more concerned about his political future than governing the state. In December 2012, 61% felt he was more concerned with governing than his own future compared to 30% for the other side. In September 2013, those numbers dropped quite a bit, as only 44% felt he cared about the state more and 38% thought he cared more about what lied ahead for him personally. Now, 47% feel that personal politics are more important to him than the state of New Jersey. This is also the first time he has had a net negative on this question (42-47.)
The poll revealed that New Jersey residents are very aware of the Bridgegate story, as 83% responded that they are following it. Of those people, 64% feel that the lane closures were done as political retaliation. 51% stated that they were bothered by the story. 80% felt that there were more people involved in the scandal than the two advisers that were fired recently. The majority of people (51%) said that Christie has not been completely honest about this story. That same total also said that this will hurt Christie’s Presidential ambitions in 2016. At the same time, 30% said they now trust him less with only 1% saying they trust him more.
With revelations that he possibly misused Sandy relief funds, along with punishing another New Jersey mayor for not endorsing him for reelection, expect these numbers to continue to look worse and worse for the governor. The GOP is going to have to scramble to find another viable candidate in 2016 to face-off with Hillary Clinton. Because, quite frankly, there doesn’t appear to be anyway Christie is going to survive this to run.