‘Christie Has Hit Bottom’ — Governor’s Approval Sinks to Historic Lows After Beach Day
Following a holiday-weekend state shutdown and a controversial day at the beach, Republican Gov. Chris Christie has pulled away with another record-low job approval rating among New Jersey adults.
A poll released Monday by Monmouth University finds just 15 percent of respondents approve of the job Christie is doing as governor. Eighty percent disapprove. His approval rating is at 30 percent among members of his own party.
Both the state legislature (23 percent) and President Donald Trump (35 percent) scored higher ratings among Garden State residents.
Compared to 41 percent a year ago, 55 percent of respondents feel the state is worse off now than it would have been had Christie not been elected as governor nearly eight years ago.
"Christie has hit bottom. He doesn't seem to care, and I think that's rubbing off on the fact that most people now feel that his time in office has actually been bad for the state," Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, told the Townsquare News Network.
Murray said he's never recorded an approval rating as low as Christie's during his 20-year polling career in New Jersey.
Christie also received 15 percent approval in a Quinnipiac University poll released in June. Since then, the state experienced a three-day shutdown over a budget standoff, during which Christie spent time with his family at the shuttered Island Beach State Park.
Eighty-six percent of Garden Staters in the Monmouth poll have seen now-infamous photos by New Jersey Advance Media of Christie sitting on a beach closed off to the public. Two-thirds of respondents had something negative to say when asked how those images made them feel. "Disgusted," "anger" and "disbelief" were the most common reactions. Another 6 percent used some form of profanity to express themselves.
"Only 1 in 10 New Jerseyans had anything positive or neutral to say about their reaction when they saw these pictures," Murray said.
Most New Jerseyans (54 percent) blame both Christie and lawmakers for the government shutdown. Among the remainder, 28 percent put most of the blame on the governor.