Poll: Support for Christie Lower Since Bridgegate
Tuesday is the one-year anniversary of the first day access lanes to the George Washington Bridge were closed without notice, sparking the Bridgegate scandal. A new Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll revealed Gov. Chris Christie's job approval numbers remain far below where they were prior to the controversy.
"Right now 46 percent approve of his job performance with 40 percent disapproving," said Krista Jenkins, professor of political science and director of PublicMind at FDU. "Once upon a time in a world before Bridgegate Gov. Christie's appeal was both wide and deep. He attracted the support of considerable numbers of Democrats, women, and those in union households. Support among these groups has dropped considerably."
In an FDU PublicMind poll released on Nov. 4, 2013, the day before Christie won a landslide 22-point reelection victory over State Sen. Barbara Buono and weeks before the Bridgegate scandal erupted, 61 percent of New Jersey's registered voters approved on the job the governor was doing while just 24 disapproved.
"Forty percent of those we spoke with now say the state is headed in the right direction and 44 percent say it is headed down the wrong track," Jenkins said.
In the November 2013 survey, 56 percent of Garden State residents polled thought the state was on the right track while 28 percent said the state was headed in the wrong direction.
"Certainly there are other actors that are responsible for the health of the state in the minds of voters, but when the governor is a likely candidate for a major party's presidential nomination it would certainly be an easier sell if optimism trumped pessimism," Jenkins explained.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is still the presidential candidate to beat on the Democratic side according to the survey, but in a potential head-to-head match, Christie comes closer than any Republican among Garden State voters. Clinton gets 45 percent support while Christie garners 42 percent.