Christie’s Approval Rating Sinks to Lowest Level Ever
Fifty-six percent of voters disapprove of the job Christie's doing, while 38 percent approve. That's the lowest the governor's approval ratings have been since he took office in 2010. In a Quinnipiac poll released Jan. 21, 46 percent of voters approved of the job Christie was doing, with 48 disapproving.
A month after Superstorm Sandy hit the Garden State, Christie received his highest approval rating ever measured by Quinnipiac University for a New Jersey governor. At the time, the governor had a 72 percent approval rating.
So what is driving down Christie's approval numbers?
"Bridgegate has hurt Christie, no question about it." said Mickey Carroll, Quinnipiac University assistant poll director.
According to the poll, 57 percent of voters don't think Christie caused Bridgegate, while 32 percent believe he did. However, many think he did know about the plot to cause unannounced lane closures at the George Washington Bridge in September 2013. In fact, 53 percent think he knew about the plot, while 38 percent said he didn't.
If the governor knew about the lane closures, many voters said he should suffer severe consequences, while some said he could be forgiven:
- 34 percent said he should be removed from office if he knew;
- 29 percent said he should be removed from office and prosecuted;
- 29 percent an apology from the governor would be good enough.
It was not all bad news for Christie in the poll. Sixty-three percent said the governor is a strong leader while 33 percent said he is not, however, Christie gets upside down ratings on other character and policy issues:
- 41 percent said he cares about residents' needs and problems. 56 percent said he does not;
- 41 percent said he is trustworthy and honest. 52 percent said he is not;
- 32 percent approve of the way he is handling the State budget. 59 percent disapprove;
- 34 approve of his economic and job growth policies. 57 percent disapprove;
- 34 percent approve of how he is handling education issues. 56 percent disapprove.
The poll indicated the Bridgegate scandal has also hurt Christie's presidential chances, although he would lead among New Jersey voters in a Garden State Republican presidential primary.
"Would he make a good president? New Jersey voters say 'no.' Sixty-five percent said he wouldn't. Only 29 percent said he would. Should he run for president? Again people say, 'no.' Thirty-three percent said he should and 64 percent said he shouldn't," Carroll said.
In a GOP primary, New Jersey voters give Christie an advantage over every possible contender, but the governor's luck would run out in a potential head-to-head match-up with Democrat Hillary Clinton. The former Secretary of State leads Christie 51 to 36 percent.
"If there was a Clinton-Christie general election matchup, New Jersey would be Democratic blue, blue, blue for Hillary," Carroll explained.
From April 9-14, Quinnipiac polled 1,428 Garden State voters (444 Republicans and 539 Democrats) with an overall margin of error of +/- 2.6 percentage points. The survey was conducted via land line and cell phone calls.