How Low Can He Go? 3 Out of 4 NJ Residents Disapprove of Christie
A new poll finds Gov. Chris Christie’s approval rating has dropped to a new all-time low, and a majority of New Jersey voters don’t think he’s telling the truth about Bridgegate.
“Right now he’s at 21 percent approval, which is a drop of five points from June, the last time we asked the question, and his disapprovals are up to 72 percent, which is an increase of 10 percentage points from June,” said Krista Jenkins, a professor of political science and director of the Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll.
She said the survey also finds the Bridgegate trial has done little to shake the perception that Christie knew about the lane closures before the public became aware of what was happening.
“37 percent believe it is highly unlikely that the governor did not know what his aides were doing either before or during the lane closure episode. Additionally, 52 percent believe there’s sufficient proof that the governor knew about and did nothing to prevent the lane closures from occurring, or to stop them from continuing,” she said.
Jenkins pointed out “many people in the state say they’re following the Bridgegate trial closely" — 70 percent, while 19 percent say they’re following it very closely.
She noted 36 percent of respondents believe sufficient proof does not exist that the governor was aware of the Bridgegate scheme.
The FDU PublicMind poll also finds the governor’s favorability rating is upside down.
“65 percent say they have an unfavorable view of him, with 29 percent who evaluate him favorably. So apparently, we’ve not yet found the floor for the governor’s approval among voters in the state,” she said.
Jenkins pointed out besides the Bridgegate trial, “the recent gas tax increase that the governor supported no doubt caused some in his party to turn against him even though he did seek to reduce taxes in other areas.”
The poll also finds most people are not happy with how things are going in the Garden State.
“20 percent say the state is headed in the right direction while 71 percent say it’s headed down the wrong track,” she said.
However, there is some good news for Christie.
“A clear majority, or 57 percent, reject the idea that Christie should leave office, either by stepping down or through removal by impeachment. Only 39 percent believe he should leave office,” said Jenkins
She noted back in May, 57 percent said if it is proven Christie knew about and did nothing to stop or prevent the lane closures from occurring he should resign, while a third rejected that idea back.
The FDU poll was conducted by landline and cellular telephone Oct. 12-16 among a random sample of 848 registered voters in New Jersey. Results have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points for likely voters.
PublicMind interviews are conducted by Opinion America of Cedar Knolls, with professionally trained interviewers using a Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing system.
The governor’s press office was contacted for comment about the poll, but declined to do so.