Poll of NJ Voters: Christie Is Not Presidential Material

Wednesday, 09 Apr 2014 09:23 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Most of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's own constituents do not think he is presidential material in the wake of the ongoing bridge-gate scandal, according to a new poll that shows his popularity ratings are dropping, and his "bully" rating is rising.

Further, most of the 1,356 New Jersey voters polled by Quinnipiac University believe the governor's internal review that cleared him of being involved in the bridge-gate scandal was a "whitewash," results showed Wednesday.

Voters said by a 57-35 percent majority that Christie would not make a good president, the poll shows, including 46 percent of independent voters. Further, the voters polled said by a 52-43 percent margin they do not want to see Christie run for president.

Urgent: Do You Like Chris Christie? Vote Now

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"The governor's job approval stays ever so slightly on the plus side," said Maurice Carroll, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. But "voters don't think he'd be a good president, and they don't want him to run. They're uncertain about his honesty, and a lot still think he's a bully — but they give him high marks on leadership."

Christie's approval rating is now at 49 percent, while 44 percent of those polled said they disapprove of his job performance. The numbers mark a six-point drop since January, when news of the lane closures on the George Washington Bridge broke.

Even more damaging, his approval numbers are down a huge 25 points since their all-time high of 74 percent in February 2013, the poll showed.

Voters were evenly divided on Christie's "bully" score, with 48 percent believing he strong-arms his political foes and another 48 percent believing he does not, as investigations into possible abuse of power within his administration continue.

Most of the respondents, 64 percent, said they do not believe Christie ordered the lane closures, allegedly designed to punish Fort Lee's Democratic mayor for not endorsing his gubernatorial re-election campaign. However, 51 percent of those polled said they do think he knew what his aides, including former Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Kelly, were doing when they shut down the lanes and created massive commuter traffic heading into New York City.

Further, most of those polled said they believe Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer's claims that a Christie administration official told her that city would not get relief money to clean up from the 2012 Superstorm Sandy unless she endorsed a major real estate development in her city.

Meanwhile, almost all the voters, 96 percent, said they know something about the bridge-gate scandal, and 56 percent said the Christie-ordered investigation was a "whitewash," but another 36 percent said it was a "legitimate investigation."

But they were split evenly, 46-46 percent, on whether Democrats' investigation will be legitimate, or a "political witch hunt."

"There's a clear political split," Carroll said. "Two-thirds of Republicans agree with the report, while the Democrats overwhelmingly give it bad marks."

Urgent: Do You Like Chris Christie? Vote Now

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