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Once Popular Gov. Chris Christie Now Sinking in NJ Polls

Image: Once Popular Gov. Chris Christie Now Sinking in NJ Polls
(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 21 Jan 2015 08:53 AM

Days after a CBS News poll found that only 29 percent of Republicans wanted New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to run for president in 2016, a Quinnipiac University poll finds his approval rating among Garden State voters is his lowest in nearly four years.

His approval ratings vary greatly by voters' party affiliation, with 74 percent of Republicans approving of the job he’s doing, compared with only 26 percent of Democrats and 43 percent of independents.

Overall, Christie has a negative 46–48 percent approval rating.

Men were slightly more pleased with Christie than women. Forty-eight percent of male voters approved of the job he’s doing, while 45 percent of women felt the same way, according to the poll of 1,211 New Jersey voters.

Once a wildly popular governor, Christie’s approval ratings began to sink when allegations surfaced that he may have been involved in what’s come to be known as Bridgegate, the closing of several lanes of traffic on the George Washington Bridge as an act of political retribution against the Fort Lee, New Jersey, mayor.

In December, investigators with a joint legislative panel cleared Christie of any wrongdoing, writing in a report that there was "no conclusive evidence" that Christie knew of the September 2013 lane closures, The Associated Press reported.

Christie’s two former aides were found to have "acted with perceived impunity and with little regard for public safety when they ordered the lanes closed."

Despite the investigation’s outcome, the scandal has continued to impact the governor’s approval ratings, according to Quinnipiac University Poll assistant director Maurice Carroll.

"It's the traffic nightmare that never ends for New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie," Carroll said. "He was doing fine until one year ago and then, WHAM! Bridgegate hit like a 10-car pileup on the George Washington Bridge and the governor has yet to recover."

In the CBS News poll, Republicans put Christie below former GOP nominee Mitt Romney, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee on their wish list for the White House in 2016. In that same poll, 44 percent of Republicans said they wanted Christie to stay out of the race, NewJersey.com reported.

In the Quinnipiac poll, Christie also received low approval ratings for his handling of the economy and jobs (42 percent), the state budget (40 percent), and education (40 percent).

Christie said last week that he would not announce his decision on whether to run for the presidency until after Jan. 21, the day the last of the recently elected crop of Republican governors will be sworn in.

Christie served as chairman of the Republican Governors Association last year and has been traveling the country attending GOP gubernatorial inaugurations.

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Days after a CBS News poll found that only 29 percent of Republicans wanted New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to run for president in 2016, a Quinnipiac University poll finds his approval rating among Garden State voters is 46 percent, his lowest in nearly four years.
chris christie, bridgegate, polls, approval, 2016, presidency
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2015-53-21
Wednesday, 21 Jan 2015 08:53 AM
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