New numbers not adding up in Christie's favor
March 11th, 2014
10:52 AM ET
5 months ago

New numbers not adding up in Christie's favor

(CNN) – Two new polls in New Jersey and one in Iowa may spell trouble for Chris Christie.

One of the surveys in the Garden State puts the Republican governor's trustworthiness level at an all-time low, while the other poll indicates Christie's approval ratings are underwater.

And the survey in Iowa indicates that a plurality of Republican voters say they disapprove of the New Jersey governor's handling the George Washington Bridge controversy, which made national headlines earlier this year. Since Iowa's caucuses kick off the presidential caucus and primary calendar, the numbers, if they hold up, are not great news for Christie, who's seriously considering a bid for the White House in 2016.

Christie's administration is facing both federal and state investigations over allegations that some of his aides closed access lanes to the nation's busiest bridge last September to punish the mayor of Fort Lee, New Jersey, for not endorsing Christie's re-election. The governor has denied knowing anything about the gridlock until after it occurred and has said he knew nothing about any political mischief by members of his administration. But the controversy has put a cloud over Christie's political future.

According to a new Fairleigh Dickinson University's PublicMind survey, Christie's approval rating stands at 41% among New Jersey registered voters, down from 48% in January and 61% in November, soon after his landslide re-election as governor. Forty-four percent say they disapprove of the job Christie's doing in Trenton. This appears to be the first time that Christie's approval rating as governor is lower than his disapproval rating in New Jersey polling.

"Unfortunately for the governor, the investigation appears to be turning him into a more polarizing figure," said Krista Jenkins, executive director of Public Mind.

The poll's early Tuesday release came as a separate survey, from Rutgers-Eagleton, indicated that just 23% of Garden State voters say the term "trustworthy" applies to Christie. That's an all-time low in Rutgers-Eagleton polling. Another 38% say "trustworthy" somewhat describes Christie, with 35% saying the term doesn't apply to the governor at all.

The director of the Rutgers-Eagleton poll says that the bridge controversy's taking a toll on the governor's personality traits.

"Trustworthy was one of Christie's hallmarks, especially given voters' normal cynicism about politicians. Losing the trust of voters puts Christie into the category of an ordinary politician," said David Redlawsk.

Meanwhile, a new poll from the Des Moines Register indicates that 47% of Iowa Republicans disapprove of how Christie's been dealing with the bridge controversy, with 34% giving him a thumbs up.

The Des Moines Register poll was conducted Feb. 23-26, with 703 Iowans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.

The Fairleigh Dickinson University poll was conducted March 4-9, with 703 registered voters in New Jersey questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.

The Rutgers-Eagleton Poll was conducted Feb. 22-28, with 729 Garden State registered voters questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error for registered voters is plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.


Filed under: Chris Christie • New Jersey • Polls
soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. Tampa Tim

    With Krispy's numbers in the tank, the billionaire brothers who did not want him on the republican ticket, won't have to Swift Boat him after all. Look at the money he will save them.

    March 11, 2014 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  2. Tampa Tim

    In FL 13, don't forget to support Sink.

    March 11, 2014 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Today should be a turning point in the Bridgegate investigations. The only two remaining people who have not complied with their subpoenas by pleading the 5th will each get a court hearing today on the merits of thier pleas. I don't know what New Jersey law is regardign conducting state business on personal electronic devices, but most states prohibit the practice. The damaging emails that broke the story were exchanged using private email accounts. Most of the skullduggery seems to have been conducted using privately owned electronic devices. If the use of the devices for state business violates any laws, then they shouldn't have a right to hide the records of their public service on personal electronic devices.

    March 11, 2014 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  4. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Losing the trust of voters puts Christie into the category of an ordinary politician," said David Redlawsk."

    Yeah, well. Thanks for the laugh of the day. You in the media elevated him to a status which in reality was never a good fit for him , so I guess we are now in the "uh-oh" mode of "can you believe that ... he ISN'T the guy we thought he was after all" ... disbelieve?

    Reminds me of Sarah Palin coverage and the length of media attention she was (and is still) given.

    As far as Chris Christie: to quote Palin's own bridge to nowhere misstatement ... "thanks, but no thanks".

    March 11, 2014 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  5. Ol' Yeller

    That's okay. faux will just put out their own polls showing he is leading everyone by 10 and he will be our next president... just like president romney.

    DOH!

    March 11, 2014 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  6. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House

    Well, Bridget Kelly's silence today in court won't help his poll numbers either. Christie should just resign. He may not have been implicated in any of this scandal, although I believe he's the mastermind, but his appointment of these criminals is unforgivable incompetence.

    March 11, 2014 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  7. salty dog

    As the fork slowly enters, deeper and deeper.

    March 11, 2014 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  8. Gurgyl

    No fool will support this bully, whether is guilty or acquitted. GOP is dead pretty much for fifty years or so. They need to praise Bush for that matter, Reagan too.

    March 11, 2014 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  9. Gunderson

    Aw, So,
    Old Gunderson thing somebody try prevent any Republican from being elected next time. Anybody that looks good is attacked by the Liberal's. Who knows what the Peasants will do in 2016. Jobs or Welfare. Jobs or Food Stamps. Country already out of Money. 17.5 Trillion Dollar Federal Debt, and Climbing. Just think, Liberal's follow that old Vaudville Mantra, WITH YOUR MONEY AND MY BRAINS WE WILL GO PLACE. So , old Gunderson have ask, where that?

    March 11, 2014 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  10. Sniffit

    You know what else doesn't add up? Koch brothers advertisements claiming people are victims fo the ACA:

    "When journalists looked into her claim, Boonstra identified the new plan she chose on the Obamacare exchanges: a so-called "gold" plan from Blue Cross Blue Shield, per the Detroit News.

    Her old plan cost $1,100 per month, which adds up to $13,200 a year in premiums alone - before co-pays, out-of-pocket costs and drug expenses.

    Her new plan costs $571 per month, which adds up to $6,852 per year. Her out-of-pocket costs are maxed at $5,100, which means a maximum cost of $11,952 per year. That means her new plan cannot cost her more for treatment than her new plan.

    In other words, Boonstra would save at least $1,248 under Obamacare."

    But CNN was done reporting about it when it stopped being he-said-she-said.

    March 11, 2014 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  11. Lewis

    It's simple, Americans are sick of the GOP. It's been lie after lie after lie all the way back to the Bush administration. The Democrates might not be saints but at least they represent what the majority of America wants, rather than what the rich want.

    March 11, 2014 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  12. Al-NY,NY

    Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House

    Well, Bridget Kelly's silence today in court won't help his poll numbers either.
    ---------
    -but according to the righties on this site, the IRS woman ( a Duh Duh Duh-bya appointee), invoking HER 5th amendment is a sign of cover-up and scandal. I'm sure Kelly's invoking will bring a "librul media witch-hunt"
    reply from some of our more brainwashed crew here

    March 11, 2014 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  13. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    @Gunderson
    Aw, So,
    Old Gunderson thing somebody try prevent any Republican from being elected next time. Anybody that looks good is attacked by the Liberal's.

    You mean liberals are finally doing what Lee Atwater and Karl Rove perfected decades ago and you are complaining?

    March 11, 2014 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  14. Silence DoGood

    @Lewis
    It's simple, Americans are sick of the GOP. It's been lie after lie after lie all the way back to the Bush administration. The Democrates might not be saints but at least they represent what the majority of America wants, rather than what the rich want.
    ----------
    That is pretty much it. The rich and corporations are doing great lately. But they have their hands out for more. And 1000's of people died needlessly under Bush and his GOP supporters. That is enough for most folks I would hope.

    March 11, 2014 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  15. baser13

    Plain and simple the GOP has moved as far right as it has because when you reside in the middle as Christie did, you have two sides of the bed to fall off. Most think they can fake it till they make it but being a centrist takes a genuine approach and belief system that one can't pass off as authentic without having practiced it. That being said it isn't wrong to be in the center since biased interests command the fringes and extremes but trying to sit in the middle while still being led by the far-extreme side you inherently associate with, is as wrong as it can get and ultimately backfires.

    March 11, 2014 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  16. baser13

    Don't forget to help Alex Sink David's Jolly hopes of winning the special elections, we need a balanced Congress and adding more obstruction will only hinder our progress to a complete recovery, not just limited to the upper tier of society. FL13 you can do it, you can vote for your interest and your neighbor's interests by not voting for the guy outside interests and special interests want you to vote for.

    March 11, 2014 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    baser13 wrote:

    Plain and simple the GOP has moved as far right as it has because when you reside in the middle as Christie did, you have two sides of the bed to fall off. ... ... ...
    ------------------------–
    I can only speculate as to why the GOP moved so far to the right. I can only recite the facts. Democrats unexpectedly nominated a black man during an election when Republicans were weak, and the black man won. Immediately following the election, the GOP made a hard turn to the right....and they still haven't straightened back out. That's all I can tell you.

    March 11, 2014 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  18. Gurgyl

    Gundie, GOP is gone dead, out of touch with main line America, even fool will not vote for that party of "no" for very damn dirty thing. For ex, Mary Landrieu says climate is changing–immediately republican says no it is not.... I laughed at those idiots, my stomach hurts!!!

    March 11, 2014 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  19. rs

    Rudy NYC

    baser13 wrote:

    Plain and simple the GOP has moved as far right as it has because when you reside in the middle as Christie did, you have two sides of the bed to fall off. ... ... ...
    --------–
    I can only speculate as to why the GOP moved so far to the right. I can only recite the facts. Democrats unexpectedly nominated a black man during an election when Republicans were weak, and the black man won. Immediately following the election, the GOP made a hard turn to the right....and they still haven't straightened back out. That's all I can tell you.
    __________________________________
    The Rightward trend has it's roots in Richard Nixon's so-called "silent majority" that was somehow going to bail him out. It did work as an election tool getting him elected in '72. Think Archie Bunker as the target audience for the early "social conservative" shift away from actual fiscal conservatives. Under Reagan, we saw the rather unholy pandering to the Pat Robertson crowd and the opening of the culture wars- today's anti-abortion laws, anti-birth control laws, the so-called war on Christmas, the anti-welfare laws root to him and this period. Also rooted here is the "starve the beast" mentality- if we run up big enough debts (mostly through tax cuts), the Right believed welfare, Social Security and Medicare could be destroyed.
    Sure, these may not have been traditional "Rightist" policy, but they have become those things that define the Right- now they are just purer- we must hate the poor, we must strip minorities of voting rights, we must relive Mr. Reagan's brinksmanship and so on.
    The Right long ago abandoned the Center (giving that up to the Democrats) and through circuses like CPAC continue to beat the daylights out of each other to come up with ever more demented ways to redefine the Right and destroy any semblance of democracy our nation thought it maintained.

    March 11, 2014 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  20. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the majority repub/tea bag members

    @Lewis: "It's simple, Americans are sick of the GOP. It's been lie after lie after lie all the way back to the Bush administration. The Democrates might not be saints but at least they represent what the majority of America wants, rather than what the rich want."

    Speaking of gop/tea bag lies, did you hear the whopper Paul Ryan told at CPAC the other day? He made a pitch for getting rid of government-subsidized lunches for kids, because they'd rather be hungry than take a handout. He told this "moving" story about a kid who supposedly said that he wanted his lunch in a brown bag because that would mean someone cared about him. Ryan's conclusion was that government lunch subsidy left kids with a "full stomach and an empty soul."

    HOWEVER, here's the truth (something the repubs wouldn't know if it smacked them in the face):

    The woman in that story never actually met that boy; she took the actual story from a book. The actual boy in the story was not complaining about getting food assistance, but asking that when he got food assistance, could he get that food assistance in a brown paper bag because it could help him avoid the stigma of getting food assistance.

    BTW, that actual boy is now an adult (and the author of that story) regularly makes public appearances to advocate for free school lunches, because he knows how much it helped him.

    So Ryan's conclusion is "People on food assistance have empty souls." And goodness, we wouldn't want that! Better to cut them off from assistance – it's the right and moral thing to do!

    Or as Jon Stewart so elegantly put it, "As Jesus once said, if you give a man a fish, don't. Period. End of bible."

    March 11, 2014 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  21. Ol' Yeller

    So let me get this reasoning straight.... if you can buy a rotten apple for 75 cents, and then a guy comes along and says, 'that ain't right', so he arranges for everyone to have an opportunity to buy fresh apples for 50 cents (though a small fraction may have to pay up to a dollar), we still have to sit around and listen to people cry about not getting to keep their 75 cent rotten apple.... because they 'like it better'?

    March 11, 2014 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  22. Gunderson

    Whazzat?,
    Most Americans tired of Republican lie after lie? You mean that big Republican Lie, If you like your Health Plan you can keep your Health Plan, Period. Well that Whopper alright. Also that other big Republican lie, when elected unemployment will be down to 6.5 Percent or I'll not run again. Oh wait, that not Republican lie. Sorry! And of course that other Big Lie, George Bush is not Patriotic for allowing the National Debt to rise to 10 Trillion Dollars. Those republicans tell big whoppers alright. So, after 100 years of Liberals running the show, we in great shape, no? So old Gunderson wonder why Republican's still get elected? It must be something in the water.

    March 11, 2014 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  23. Enough is Enough

    This is easy to fix...all he needs to do is change to a "D" after his name on the ballot and he's in. Dem's love to vote for crooked pols......

    March 11, 2014 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  24. just asking

    as i look at the calendar it seems to say 2014. twoyears ago obama was high in the polls and now he's in the 30s and nobody trusts him. a lot can happen in two years. besides, the democrat smear job on christie has turned up zero, nada against him. they have nothing but lies and innuendo that is being pushed by their comrades in the lsm.

    March 11, 2014 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  25. Silence DoGood

    @Rudy NYC
    baser13 wrote:

    Plain and simple the GOP has moved as far right as it has because when you reside in the middle as Christie did, you have two sides of the bed to fall off. ... ... ...
    --------–
    I can only speculate as to why the GOP moved so far to the right. I can only recite the facts. Democrats unexpectedly nominated a black man during an election when Republicans were weak, and the black man won. Immediately following the election, the GOP made a hard turn to the right....and they still haven't straightened back out. That's all I can tell you.
    ----------
    It is also not a secret that some conservative churches are losing members. Many people still believe in God, just not that way. So of course instead of taking responsibility, they say it is an evil conspiracy, and that is fueling the Radical Right as well with fear. So you have racism and conspiracy theory, and fear-based religious morality wagging the GOP dog.

    March 11, 2014 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
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