A Rutgers University-Eagleton Poll, released on Friday, shows New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie sinking to new depths of unpopularity with his constituents. The survey found that his favorable rating with New Jersey voters has plummeted to just 37 percent, with 53 percent of Garden State voters holding an unfavorable opinion of the Governor. The decline represents a 7 percent drop from two months ago. It also marks the first time during his tenure as Governor that a majority of New Jersey voters have expressed an unfavorable opinion towards Mr. Christie.
New Jersey voters gave multiple reasons for why the Governor has fallen out of favor with them. His brash personality was listed as the primary reason, but concerns about his role in the “Bridgegate” scandal also was a factor. In addition, many voters felt he was spending too much time running for President, and not taking care of problems in New Jersey.
Chris Christie’s problems at home might not doom his presidential campaign, since New Jersey is generally regarded as a fairly safe Democratic state at the national level anyway. However, a Governor who is hemorrhaging support from his own constituents can hardly use his position as a resume boost, since the people he represents have soured upon him so resoundingly.
Furthermore, the Governor’s woes extend beyond the borders of the Garden State. For example, a Wason Center for Public Policy Poll released on Thursday, showed Chris Christie’s support has cratered in Virginia as well. A year ago, Governor Christie was viewed favorably by 46 percent of Virginia registered voters. This year that figure sits at a dismal 30 percent.
Governor Christie’s arrogant demeanor combined with his political shortcomings in New Jersey threaten to derail his hopes of becoming the Republican nominee for President. While GOP voters may be forgiving of his faults, they are also inclined to back a candidate who is both ideologically pure and one who they also believe can beat Hillary Clinton in a general election.
Chris Christie’s abrasiveness might even appeal to some GOP voters. However, if Chris Christie’s favorable ratings continue to plummet with voters in general, even Republican voters who like his confrontational style may look elsewhere for a viable candidate. Hardly anybody wants to be stuck supporting the candidate who is circling the drain. Right now, that candidate appears to be New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Voters have grown weary of both the style of his rhetoric and the substance of his policies.
Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful re-election bid in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.