Christie as a Running Mate Could ‘Kill the Trump Buzz,’ Poll Shows
With Donald Trump gearing up to be the GOP presidential nominee, there is some speculation that he could consider NJ Gov. Chris Christie as his running mate, but a new poll shows many Garden State Republicans think that would be a bad move for the business mogul.
According to the latest Monmouth University poll, 70 percent of GOP voters who will head to the polls for the June 7 primary in New Jersey say they plan to cast their ballots for Trump, who recently said his pick for vice president would "most likely" be an elected official.
Christie's name has been brought up as a possible pick, but nearly half of New Jersey Republicans polled - 41 percent - said Trump would be hurting his campaign by choosing the governor. In addition, the poll shows that 15 percent of Republicans in the state say Christie would help Trump’s campaign while another 37 percent say picking Christie for the ticket would not have an impact either way.
“It’s hard to imagine any running mate who could kill the Trump buzz, but the voters who know Chris Christie best think he might be that guy,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute. “The advice from New Jersey Republicans? Look elsewhere for a running mate.”
Christie has been publicly endorsing Trump since his own bid for a GOP presidential nomination came to an end in February. Speaking on New Jersey 101.5’s “Ask The Governor” program last month, Christie said the business mogul will not only garner a great deal of support in the Garden State, but will win all the delegates.
According to the Monmouth University poll, Christie's position on top of the Trump delegate probably wouldn't have done much damage to the businessman's campaign. Forty-seven percent of likely 2016 primary voters polled say "seeing Christie’s name at the top of a candidate’s delegate slate would have no impact on their support for that slate." The poll also shows that 34 percent of voters would be more likely to support a slate headed by Christie, while 13 percent say they would be less likely.
“For New Jersey Republicans, this race is about the top of the ticket even though it is the delegate vote that actually counts," Murray said. "Still, these poll results mean that Trump’s preferred delegates will be heading to Cleveland even with a significant undervote for the slate."
When it comes to the November presidential election, 79 percent of the GOP voters polled say they plan to cast ballots for Trump, while another 6 percent plan to vote for Democrat Hillary Clinton and 6 percent will vote for another candidate. There are also voters who said they plan to opt out of voting in the election altogether. The poll shows 3 percent will stay home and another 6 percent don't know what they will do when Election Day rolls around.
The poll was conducted by phone from May 1 to 3 with 301 New Jersey voters likely to vote in the Republican presidential primary, according to Monmouth University Polling Institute. The majority of the interviews were conduced before Ted Cruz and John Kasich suspended their campaigns.