By: Rachel Theodora Appleton
Only 35% percent of the state still supports Governor Christie, according to the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll released on Oct. 13th, 2015.
The Rutgers-Eagleton poll took into consideration the representative opinions of a wide variety of voters. The poll included nine hundred and thirty-five adults aged from eighteen to over sixty-five.
This low approval rating is shocking because Governor Christie once had a positive approval rating of 70% at the beginning of his term. Ashley Koning, the poll assistant director at the Rutgers Eagleton Institute of Politics said in an interview, “When we talk about a politician’s approval ratings, we need to look at the bigger picture.”
At the beginning of the Governors term he obtained “state and even nationwide coverage because of Hurricane Sandy” said Koning.
His ratings were over 80% on approval in regards to Sandy recovery for most of 2013, the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll reported.
“As devastating as the storm was, the Governor had the perfect political moment to shine and really jack up his approval rating” Koning said.
Koning believes that this significant drop in the Governor’s approval ratings has had a slow but steady decrease ever since the bridgegate scandal last January.
But besides the bridgegate scandal, the Rutgers-Eagleton poll reports that voters disapprove of the Governor’s work on a plethora of issues including the state pension (approval of 21%,) economy and jobs (31%,) crime and drugs (38%) and of course education (36%.) All of his approval ratings are below 50%, bad news for the Governor.
Ross K. Baker, distinguished professor of political science at Rutgers, suggested in a phone interview that New Jersey citizens are upset with their governor because of the time he is using on his presidential campaign.
However, Christie isn’t the only governor running for the 2016 presidential election. Just look at John Kasich, Governor of Ohio. According to www.nj1015.com, “Despite being a no-show in his own state, Kasich’s approval rating is still at 62 percent.”
“Christie’s approval ratings are so low because New Jersey voters feel that the Governor has abandoned the state’s issues in pursuit of a successful national campaign- unlikely as that is!” Professor Baker said.
When asked about the Governor’s chances at winning the election, Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences alum Andrew Young said in an email interview, “All of the negative publicity over Christie’s last few years in office has made him unelectable, I think he is just trying to embellish his profile for other career opportunities.”
The National GOP poll from http://www.realclearpolitics.com says that Christie is ranked 10 out of 15 candidates. With Fiorina, Carson and Trump edging to the top, it seems that Christie has a miniscule chance at winning.
“You can’t know if things will change. We will be able to see where the Governor stands more clearly after the Iowa Caucus,” said Koning. “Polling is playing a really interesting part in this process, so where he stands can change very quickly.”
Not all voters are as feel the same as Koning. Professor Baker said, “Governor Christie’s chances at winning are only slightly better than that of Rick Santorum.”
Baker believes that the Governor doesn’t have much of any chance and that his best bet is trying to get on another candidates ticket as Vice President.
“He doesn’t want to be the bride anymore, he’ll gladly take place as the bridesmaid!”
The Rutgers-Eagleton poll reported that 6 in 10 garden state voters think New Jersey is on the wrong track.
“While up five points from August on his approval ratings, this is still the second lowest he has ever received” the Rutgers-Eagleton poll said.
“We need to be careful about how we categorize these points, an increase in five points is not necessarily an upward trend,” Koning suggested.
There’s still much more room for improvement when it comes to the ratings. “Dropping out of the race would be a good first step, but it will take time to reestablish himself to the voters,” professor Baker said.
“Voters have really soured on him within the past year, if he were to make progress on the top issues of the state [economy, jobs and taxes] he could gain positive approval. He needs to come home and get back to work and then the numbers could turn around” Koning added.
New Jersey voters are yearning for changes and it shows in the polls. “I’d like to see a governor who was similar to Christie in his first term. Someone who fount the teachers Union fairly, and kept a balanced budget” Young said.
“Barack Obama and Chris Christie in the White House” by Pete Souza – White House (P120612PS-0118). Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons –