Support for Christie Dips in NJ, Remains Steady Nationally: Polls

Image: Support for Christie Dips in NJ, Remains Steady Nationally: Polls

Monday, 13 Jan 2014 09:23 PM

By Cathy Burke

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Bridge-gate-battered Gov. Chris Christie took a hit in a poll of New Jersey residents, but held his own in a national survey.

According to a Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press poll released Monday, 59 percent of New Jersey residents approved of the Republican governor, while 32 percent disapproved. It’s the first time since Superstorm Sandy in late October 2012 that Christie’s approval rating has dipped below 60 percent in the Monmouth polling, CNN reported.

The survey showed 89 percent of Republicans were behind Christie, but his approval went down with Democrats, to 38 percent from 47 percent in December; approval among independents dropped from 73 percent in December to 62 percent.

The survey showed 44 percent of residents have a favorable view of Christie, down from the 70 percent a year ago; 28 percent have an unfavorable view, up from 19 percent last year.

"There is now a gap between the public's view of Christie's job performance and his personal behavior,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.

“There has been a shift from largely positive opinion of the man to a situation where some New Jerseyans are not quite sure what to think of him.”

The poll also found 65 percent said Christie wasn’t a “bully”; 32 percent would label him that way.

Christie did considerably better outside the Garden State in a Pew Research Center poll.

In that survey, 60 percent said their opinion of Christie had not changed in recent days, while 16 percent said they viewed him less favorably and 6 percent more favorably.

The national survey found just 18 percent paid very close attention to Christie’s apology Jan. 9 for the highway lane closures ordered by his aides. By contrast, 44 percent very closely followed news about the cold winter weather that gripped much of the U.S. and 28 percent tracked news about the economy.

The survey found 69 percent of Republicans, 55 percent of Democrats and 60 percent of independents said their opinion of Christie has not changed lately.

Monmouth and Ashbury Park Press polled 541 New Jersey adults from Jan. 10-12. Their poll has a margin of error of 4.2 percentage points.

The Pew survey of 1,006 adults was conducted on Jan. 9-12, and had an overall margin of error of 3.6 percentage points.

The two polls were conducted after Christie apologized last Thursday for the closure of access lanes to the George Washington Bridge for four days in September that caused traffic jams on the New Jersey side of the nation's busiest bridge.

The events have become the biggest political controversy of his career, and could jeopardize his consideration of a bid for the White House in 2016.

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