NJ Thinks Governor Christie Wants To Be President [AUDIO]
If you think Governor Chris Christie wants to be the next President of the United States, you have a lot of company.
The latest Monmouth University-Asbury Park Press poll released this morning shows the majority of New Jerseyans believes Christie is eyeing a White House run in 2016 and most feel he has what it takes to do the job.
"It's no news to New Jersey that Gov. Christie wants to run for President," says Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. "Sixty-three percent say that they think that he really does want to run for president. Just 22 percent do not believe that Christie wants to be president. I don't know what that 22 percent has been paying attention to with this governor and what he's been doing so far. Another 15 percent they're not sure about his political ambitions."
If Christie does decide to run for President, does he have what is needed to be the leader of the free world? Most Garden State residents think he does.
"Most New Jerseyans think he's got the right stuff for the job," says Murray. "Fifty-six percent say he has the right temperament and 53 percent say he has the right experience to be president. Only 34 percent say his personality is a wrong fit and only 37 percent say his resume isn't good enough to become president."
There has been a lot of scuttlebutt about Christie's weight as a potential issue in a run for president. Even the Governor has acknowledged his struggles with weight and last year he had surgery to help drop some pounds. Six-in-ten (61 percent) New Jerseyans say that Christie is healthy enough to do the job while only 20 percent say he is not healthy enough to be president.
"In terms of his health and his weight, that seems to be a non-issue for the vast majority of New Jerseyans," says Murray. "Is Chris Christie too fat or too much of a bully to be president? Most New Jerseyans say no."
Does Christie care more about the White House or the Garden State? Forty-four percent of say the governor is more concerned with governing the state of New Jersey compared to 38 percent who say he is more concerned with his own political future. In December, right after Superstorm Sandy ripped through the state, 61 percent said that Christie was focused more on the state than himself.
"Some people suspect that a 2016 run figures into Christie's policy decisions, but it does not necessarily undercut his performance as governor," explains Murray.
Recently, Christie vetoed of a 50 caliber weapon ban. Almost 4-in-10 (39 percent) say he made this decision based what he thought was best for New Jersey, while 35 percent say he made the decision based on what he thought would help him in a run for president. Another 10 percent feel both reasons contributed equally to his veto.
Nationally, conservatives have been far less than thrilled with Christie's mini-bromance with Pres. Barack Obama, but Garden State residents are okay with it. Fifty-five percent of New Jerseyans believe that working with the president will actually help rather than hurt (8 percent) the governor's political future. Majorities of Democrats, independents and Republicans agree that working with Obama after Sandy will help Christie.
"Reaching across the aisle may help Gov. Christie in a general election with New Jersey voters, but you have to remember that not one of the people we polled will be voting in Iowa or New Hampshire in 2016," says Murray.
The poll was conducted by telephone with 783 New Jersey adults from Sept. 6 to 10, 2013 with a margin of error of + 3.5 percent.